Week Seventeen Analysis:
Jordy Nelson has struggled without Aaron Rodgers, but his opponent this week, the Bears, have struggled without Peanut Tillman. Chicago has surrendered the fourth-most touchdowns to receivers and is ranked 20th in pass coverage by Pro Football Focus. Nelson had a modest four catches for 67 yards in their first meeting, and that's probably a safe floor considering that Rodgers only threw two passes before being knocked out of that game. Rodgers' return would obviously spike Jordy's stock considerably.
Week Sixteen Analysis:
For the third straight week, it's unsure if Aaron Rodgers will play, but again, you have to roll with Jordy Nelson either way. The Packers play host to the Steelers this week, a team that Nelson last saw in the Super Bowl and torched for nine catches, 140 yards, and a touchdown. Pittsburgh's secondary was much tougher then, and they've practically become a joke, as they've allowed more than 180 yards and a touchdown per game to wide receivers over the last five weeks. According to Pro Football Focus, their top cornerback, Ike Taylor, has allowed the most yards in coverage of any cornerback. That means Jordy is safe play regardless of quarterback.
Week Fifteen Analysis:
It looks like Aaron Rodgers will miss another game, but at least Jordy Nelson has a favorable matchup in the Cowboys, who have been sieve-like on defense of late. They've surrendered more than 180 yards per game and five total touchdowns in their last four games to wide receivers alone. In addition, Dallas could be thin at corner with Morris Claiborne questionable. But regardless if he plays, the Cowboys' top corner, Brandon Carr, has been getting burned. Pro Football Focus has him ranked 75th in pass coverage among cornerbacks, and he's allowed more than 70 yards in each of the last two games.
Week Fourteen Analysis:
Like the entire state of Wisconsin, Jordy Nelson's livelihood depends on the return of Aaron Rodgers. As of the time of this taping, his status for Sunday's home game against the Falcons is still up in the air, but it doesn't look good. It's a shame too, because Atlanta has been more than generous to opposing receivers all season, allowing the fourth-most touchdowns to the position. Jordy's ranking will get a serious jolt if Rodgers makes his return, but he's startable in this favorable matchup regardless. I'll adjust my early ranking if Rodgers gets the nod, so check back late in the week.
Week Thirteen Analysis:
Christmas could come on Thanksgiving for Jordy Nelson owners, as the Packers pay visit to the Lions, who employ the worst secondary in the NFL. In the last four games, Detroit has surrendered 10 touchdowns and more than 200 yards per game to wideouts. Fully half the league hasn't given up 10 wide receiver touchdowns all year. Starting cornerback Chris Houston will miss this game. Matt Flynn will start for the Pack, and he looked very capable last week running the familiar Packers offense. Of course a repeat performance is no sure thing, but the last time Matt Flynn started a game for the Packers, Jordy had nine catches, 162 yards, and three touchdowns in that game.
Week Twelve Analysis:
Jordy Nelson torched these same Vikings with seven catches, 123 yards, and two touchdowns just four weeks ago. Granted, Aaron Rodgers was at the helm then. He'll look to do it again at home against the Vikings on Sunday, this time with Scott Tolzien at the helm. Fortunately, he's averaged over nine looks per game with Tolzien as starter. You'd prefer Aaron Rodgers to play, but Jordy remains a must-start against a soft secondary. Minnesota has surrendered the sixth-most touchdowns to receivers this season and is one of 10 teams to allow more than 180 yards per game to the position.
Week Eleven Analysis:
Sorry Cheeseheads, Aaron Rodgers won't be coming through that door, meaning Jordy Nelson will have to make due with Scott Tolzien under center for another week. The Packers pay visit to the Giants on Sunday, a team Jordy scored against last season. He's yet to catch a touchdown from a non-Rodgers quarterback this year, but he has been targeted 19 times in the last two games, so they're trying to get him the ball. Another positive underlying stat is that he is averaging 114 yards and over a touchdown per game on the road this year as opposed to just 63 yards and under a touchdown at home.
Week Ten Analysis:
Let's quickly address the elephant in the room: Aaron Rodgers won't be throwing the ball to Jordy Nelson, who is sure to suffer with Seneca Wallace under center. He's still an elite talent though, and he's at home against the Eagles, who are the only team allowing over 15 catches per game to receivers over the last five weeks. They've also surrendered 210 yards and a touchdown per game to the position during that span, and their best cornerback (by far) Bradley Fletcher is iffy to play with a pectoral issue.
Week Nine Analysis:
The Packers and Bears will renew the league's longest rivalry on Monday night, but unlike recent years, Chicago is getting carved on defense. They have allowed the ninth-most points this season, and more specifically, opposing receivers have 186 yards and a touchdown over their last two games. Jordy Nelson combined for 12 catches, 199 yards, and two touchdowns in their two meetings last year. Jordy has already scored against tougher competition, like the Iron Haden last week, so Peanut Tillman (if he plays) could easily get cracked as he has multiple times this season.
Week Eight Analysis:
Jordy Nelson didn't blow up the box score, but he shed the Iron Haden and scored against the Browns, who had allowed just one other wide receiver touchdown in the last five weeks. His matchup projects to be much easier on Sunday night when Green Bay crosses the border into Minnesota. The Vikings rank near the bottom in every statistical category allowed to receivers, but corners Josh Robinson and first-round rookie Xavier Rhodes have improved their play in recent weeks. Still, Jordy will see plenty of balls and should produce with Randall Cobb, Jermichael Finley, and (most likely) James Jones all in sweatpants. Also, Minnesota will miss Harrison Smith at safety again, which bumps Nelson's stock.
Week Seven Analysis:
Jordy Nelson was the last receiver standing for the Packers after he propelled them to victory with 113 yards and a touchdown last Sunday. He will most likely be without running mates Randall Cobb and James Jones, and their absence all but ensures he will enter the Iron Haden. Worse, the Browns have allowed just one touchdown to receivers in the last five weeks, and they rank 6th in receiver yards allowed, so keep your expectations for Jordy in check.
Week Six Analysis:
After an aerial assault by Peyton Manning in Week 1, Baltimore's defense looked much improved against the pass…and then they allowed Ryan Tannehill to pass for over 300 yards last week, 200 of which went to Miami's wide receivers. It's safe to say that Packer pass-catchers are on another level – especially Jordy Nelson who, despite playing just four games because of a bye, ranks 15th in yardage among receivers and has eight catches of 20-plus yards – fourth-most in the NFL. Ladarius Webb, the Ravens' top cornerback, looked fine in his return last week, but Jimmy Smith and Corey Graham are a huge step down from Webb, and Webb won't be able to shadow Nelson exclusively.
Week Five Analysis:
The last time Jordy Nelson faced the Lions in Green Bay he had nine catches for 162 yards and three touchdowns. Detroit has made some strides on defense since then, but their secondary was exposed last week against Chicago. According to Pro Football Focus, Lions cornerbacks were accountable for over 250 receiving yards alone, and starting cornerback Chris Houston left with a hamstring injury while his backup, Rashean Mathis, suffered a concussion; both are questionable to play on Sunday. Jordy is among the league leaders at over 12 yards per target, and he has scored over 60% of his career touchdowns at Lambeau Field.
Week Three Analysis:
Jordy Nelson had some looks stolen by James Jones last week, but he made the most of his three catches, tallying 66 yards and two touchdowns. Nelson now leads all receivers in yards per target with 14. When playing at home, the Bengals have not allowed a 100-yard receiver in their last 10 games, but Jordy could very well be the one to break that streak. He has returned to elite-level status with full health and could have another big day for the Packers, who lead the league in total offense.
Week Two Analysis:
Jordy Nelson looked just fine against San Francisco last week, snagging seven balls for 130 yards and a touchdown. His knee looked 100% and he showcased impressive bursts of speed and the ability to shift on a dime. Trademark Jordy. After allowing the second-most passing yards to wide receivers last year, and being abused by the Eagles win week 1, it's safe to say that the Redskins secondary is still highly beatable. Aaron Rodgers afforded Nelson just under half his targets to wide receivers, last week, and Jordy made good on those throws. He'll do it again this week.
Week One Analysis:
Before injuries picked apart his 2012 season, Jordy was on pace for a rock solid 90 catches, 1200 yards, and 11 touchdowns. But we remember the injuries, and his stock dropped further this preseason after his knee was scoped. But it was a minor procedure to clear lingering discomfort, and he has since returned to practice with no limitations. Jordy faced the 49ers twice last year and combined for a modest 10 receptions and 110 yards. But San Francisco's rebuilt secondary may be vulnerable, including the first start for rookie Eric Reid at strong safety. Of note, Nelson also preferred playing on the road last year, where he caught six of his seven touchdowns.