Written by Micheal Hester
Usually when Aaron Rodgers is healthy, you can expect the Packers’ offense to break the scoreboard. Right? In 2013 and 2014, yes. In 2015? Green Bay’s offense has the reputation of being a point-scoring juggernaut, especially when All-Pro, Super Bowl champion quarterback Aaron Rodgers is healthy and running hot. In 2015 though, that wasn’t the case. After losing All-Pro receiver Jordy Nelson to an ACL tear during a preseason match-up against the Steelers, the Packers’ offense went on to struggle as a whole for the majority of the season and post season.
The value of Jordy seemed to fly below the value of Aaron Rodgers for Green Bay. Both Rodgers and Nelson are equally important to the team. The Packers were forced to roll with Randall Cobb, fan-favorite James Jones, Ty Montgomery, Jeff Janis and Richard Rodgers to get the passing game going. Of the aforementioned the one that had the biggest season, statistically, was veteran wideout James Jones with 50 receptions, 890 yards and 8 touchdowns.
The Packers offense as a whole took a dive in Nelson’s absence. They finished the season averaging 334.6 total yards per game, ranking them 23rd overall in the NFL. In the air, they averaged 218 yards per game which ranked them 26th overall. The run game was decent, averaging 115.6 yards per game, ranking them 12th overall. These numbers are a decline from previous seasons, where the Pack’s offense ranked atop the league in some of those same categories.
All fingers point to Nelson’s absence being the reason for Green Bay’s offensive slump. Packers fans watched receivers like Davante Adams and Ty Montgomery struggle to beat press coverage and Randall Cobb’s inability to get open when lined up outside. And yes, James Jones was a spark in the passing game, given his past with Aaron Rodgers, but none of them had the explosiveness of Jordy. It was evident that he is the one weapon that secondary’s have to put multiple bodies on when he’s lined up on the field. The offense clearly missed the guy that put up 1,519 yards on 98 receptions and 12 touchdowns in 2014.
As of now, it’s unknown whether Jordy will return to Green Bay in his old form. It was announced on July, 26 that he would enter training camp on the P.U.P. List
At 31 years old, it’s unknown whether Jordy Nelson will return to old form and once again make the Packers’ offense a top 5 again or not. We’ll see, in due time. But if the old Jordy shows up during the 2016 season, get ready for another scoreboard explosion.
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