1) Introduction: Jordy Nelson has been a hot commodity for the Packers offense ever since last year’s postseason run to the Super Bowl, and his knack for the big play this year caught league-wide attention. As a man among talent at his position, he seemed to constantly be in competition with James Jones for the third wide receiver spot behind Jennings and Driver. Opportunity came knocking, though, when Jones’ free agent status and late re-signing basically allowed Nelson to slip ahead of him on the pecking order.
Jordy Ray Nelson
Weight: 217 lbs.
Career Stats: http://www.packers.com/team/roster/Jordy-Nelson/ba46e536-2782-4f2d-ba7b-334998fb3bbf
3) Expectations coming into the season: After Jordy Nelson’s postseason success the previous year, he looked to be a bigger cog in the 2011 Packers offense. There were quite a few people who expected him to have a breakout year, though they probably didn’t imagine it would be as spectacular as it was.
4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: Jordy had a number of long touchdowns that put him in the spotlight this year, but it was his career-best 93-yard touchdown against the St. Louis Rams that really stood out. He also played a banner game against the Detroit Lions with Matt Flynn under center, catching 9 passes for 162 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 6 first downs. Against the Kansas City Chiefs, however, Jordy Nelson had perhaps his worst performance. Two early pass interference calls (though questionable) seemed to affect his play from that point forward, and some began to question his abilities without Greg Jennings there to help draw away coverage.
5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: When everything was said and done, Jordy Nelson tied Greg Jennings for a team-leading 71 receptions, ranked 6th in the league with 18.3 yards per catch and 3rd in the league with 15 touchdowns, and led the Packers receiving corps with a 69.6% catch rate. You can also add to the mix a total of 438 yards after the catch. He proved himself to be a reliable deep threat capable of making athletic catches along the sidelines and using his size effectively against defensive backs.
6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: For as amazing of a regular season as Jordy Nelson had, he became just another receiver in the playoff game against the Giants. Hauling in only 3 of his 7 targets, he amassed just 39 yards and 7 total yards after the catch. They did account for three Green Bay first downs, but in the end it just didn’t match his usual level of play.
Season Report Card:
(A+) Level of expectations met during the season
(A) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(B-) Contributions to team during the playoffs
Overall Grade for the year: A-