Jordy Nelson seemed like an improbable candidate to have a monster game in the Super Bowl. But the opportunities were there for the third-year receiver against the Steelers, and he took advantage of nearly all of them to the tune of nine receptions for 140 yards and a touchdown. A career game in every way.
Aaron Rodgers targeted Nelson 15 times in the game as the Packers attacked the Steelers’ cornerbacks in a matchup that proved advantageous. Check out the video above as analysts Mike Mayock and Solomon Wilcots take a closer look at how the Packers chose to take advantage of Nelson and why the soft coverages by the Steelers weren’t the answer.
Mayock and Wilcots illustrate several instances in which the Steelers don’t press Nelson and the Packers’ receivers, giving them a free release off the line of scrimmage that the man-to-man coverage was designed to prevent.
As big as Nelson’s day was, he actually left some big plays on the field. He had three clear drops, and another diving attempt in the corner of the end zone some consider to be a fourth catchable ball. It’s conceivable Nelson could have easily had 12 receptions for around 200 yards.
“To me, he’s a guy [who] I really believe is developing as a receiver,” Mayock noted. “He’s got better speed than people think. He’s a more physical guy than people think.”
At the end of the day, Mike McCarthy put Nelson in a position to succeed, a testament to the coach’s offensive game plan and play-calling. The Packers needed Nelson to step up, especially after the loss of Donald Driver, and he delivered.
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