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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Jordy Nelson Super Bowl Drops Make Us Wonder What Could Have Been

The Green Bay Packers won the game. At the end of the day, nothing else matters. Aaron Rodgers became a deserving Super Bowl MVP and finally got his championship belt.  There will be no curse of Brett Favre, as the Packers have now won as many rings since his departure as they did when he was leading the charge.  The trophy has come back to Titletown.

All that important stuff being said, let’s take a minute to think about what could have been for Jordy Nelson had he hung on to everything that was thrown his way.  Rodgers finished the game with an impressive 111.5 passer rating, one that would have been a lot higher without several drops from his receiving corps.  Nelson finished with nine catches for 140 yards and a touchdown — an astounding stat line considering he dropped three perfectly-thrown balls.

Rodgers looked to exploit Steelers cornerback William Gay early and often. Had Nelson not rubbed Vaseline on his hands prior to the game, we would be talking about one of the single greatest Super Bowl performances of all-time.  Early in the game, Jordy let a perfectly thrown deep ball go right through his hands as he was streaking down the sideline.  It likely would have been a touchdown.  He then went on to let two passes of about 20 yards each hit him right in the hands and fall to the turf over the middle of the field.

Obviously, drives would have been altered had Nelson made those grabs which could have nixed some of the other catches he made, but without any drops we could very well have been writing about a 200-yard, two-touchdown game from Super Bowl MVP Jordy Nelson.  Voters will do all they can to give the award to a quarterback, but it would have been tough to ignore a performance that could have challenged Jerry Rice’s record of 215 receiving yards in a Super Bowl.

Again, Green Bay won the game.  Nelson will sleep like a baby the entire off-season.  What the combination of his drops and statistics really shows us is how perfect the Packers gameplan was on offense.  By throwing the ball, Mike McCarthy was able to exploit Pittsburgh’s iffy secondary and take guys like Troy Polamalu off their game.  Green Bay came in with a game plan and they executed it to perfection.  Rodgers’ ability to overcome critical mistakes from his receivers is the No. 1 reason he can now call himself a champion.

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