Few could question the sizable contract that the Green Bay Packers gave Jordy Nelson before the start of the 2014 season, after all he is one of football’s elite receivers. But after Sunday’s dominating performance against the New York Jets, it is easy to see why the Packers wanted him locked up long term.
To put it simply, the Packers would not have defeated the Jets without Nelson and his 209 receiving yards on nine receptions. There were two plays in the second half in particular that showed why Nelson is so valuable.
The first came late in the third quarter following a 52-yard field goal from Jets’ kicker Nick Folk to tie the game up at 24-24. The Packers, after battling back from down 21-3 to take the lead, found themselves in a dog fight. They needed someone to make a big play and more often than not, when Green Bay needs something to happen on offense it turns to Nelson and sure enough that’s where the ball went.
On a first-and-10 from their own 20-yard line, quarterback Aaron Rodgers dropped back and after plenty of time found Nelson, who used a double move to get open, then after making the catch, Nelson did what he does best; he created yards after the catch and raced 80 yards for a touchdown to give Green Bay a 31-24 advantage.
That touchdown would end up being the difference but late in the fourth quarter, Green Bay needed just one more first down to put the game on ice and on a third-and-five with two minutes to go, Rodgers found Nelson for 15 yards for the first down. From there, it took two kneel downs and it was game over. Packers win.
It was a spectacular day for Nelson but he didn’t do anything out of the ordinary. He did what he has been doing consistently for the last five seasons in Green bay, he made big plays when the Packers needed them most and without him they could easily find themselves in an 0-2 hole.
Without question, Nelson is one of the truly elite receivers in the NFL and his performance against the Jets only proved it once more. It also showed why Green Bay was smart to pay to him. To state the obvious, Green Bay would not be a Super Bowl contender without him. He is ridiculously good and worth every penny of the $39 million contract he received this offseason.
In fact, after yesterday’s performance, Nelson might be worth even more.