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Rodgers-Nelson Duo Is One for the Ages

The last time Green Bay Packers fans saw Jordy Nelson in a real game was on January 18, 2015 – over 20 months ago.

Maybe some have forgotten just how well the returning wide receiver meshes with quarterback Aaron Rodgers. If so, one merely has to look at the quarterback ratings when Aaron targets Jordy – a fantastic way to assess the value of a receiver.

Back in 2014, Fancy Stats, a feature of the Washington Post, did a three-year NFL study covering 2011 through 2013. It rated the top quarterback-wide receiver combos in the NFL based on the passer rating when a specific QB targets a specific receiver.

In fifth, sixth and seventh positions, respectively, were Detroit’s Matthew Stafford to Calvin Johnson, Chicago’s Jay Cutler to Brandon Marshall, and Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton to A.J. Green.

Four such combos had ratings of over 100 points. Atlanta’s Matt Ryan to Julio Jones produced a 108.7 rating, good for fourth place. The Cowboys’ Tony Romo to Dez Bryant ranked third with a 112.0 score. In second was Denver’s Peyton Manning to Demaryius Thomas, with a sterling 123.0 rating.

As you can guess, blowing the field away was the Packers’ Rodgers to Nelson connection, with an out-of-this-world 143.9 rating. This was achieved by 158 completions out of 224 throws (70.5% completion rate) for 2,683 yards, 26 touchdowns, and only three interceptions.

To top it off, all this was done prior to Jordy’s monumental 2014 season: 98 catches, 1,519 yards, 13 touchdowns, and a 15.5 yards per catch average.

Without any doubt — and by a wide margin — the Rodgers-Nelson duo was the most efficient and productive QB-WR combination in the league for the several years leading up to Jordy’s knee injury.

If Jordy picks up where he left off, anything less than a Super Bowl appearance this year will be utterly devastating for the Packers.

Rob Born

Smart drafters don’t select the best available players, they fill a team’s positions of greatest need.



  1. ferris August 23, 2016

    Not as devastating as 2014. So anything else is an improvement.

  2. Abe Frohman August 23, 2016

    Another great article, Rob. Please keep it up.