Jennings Flashes NFL's Hottest Set of Hands

The Pro Bowl wide receiver has been at his most effective with stunning production over the last two games. In fact, Greg Jennings and Aaron Rodgers probably couldn't be so good throwing patterns on an empty practice field.

The comment drew a laugh from Green Bay Packers receiver Edgar Bennett.

During the last two games, Greg Jennings caught 16 of the 17 passes thrown his way by Aaron Rodgers.

They probably couldn't be that efficient at practice.

"Not bad," a smiling Bennett said.

Not bad at all from the perspective of the man throwing the ball.

"I like his body language when he's out there," Rodgers said on Wednesday. "I can read it pretty effectively. We've called some plays for him, as well. He's made the most of those opportunities. When you're taking shots down the field, (when) we have have Greg in a one-on-one situation, we expect Greg to win those battles.

Jennings caught 9-of-10 passes in the Week 3 game at Chicago, including four receptions on the game-opening drive. He followed that by catching 7-of-8 passes last week against Denver.

Because of his hot streak, Jennings is tied for fourth among all NFL wide receivers who have been targeted at least four times per game, hauling in 75.8 percent of the passes thrown his way (25 of 33), according to STATS.

"There's been good coordination between those guys and good anticipation," offensive coordinator Joe Philbin said on Thursday. "As we know, Greg historically has been a very, very precise route runner — really since he got here he's demonstrated that ability. It looks like he's playing well and Aaron's throwing the ball accurately."

Jennings' hot start to the season is a carryover from just about this point last season.

After catching 14 passes for 183 yards and three touchdowns through the first five games of last season, Jennings caught 62 passes, scored nine touchdowns and led the NFL with 1,082 yards over the final 11 regular-season games. He then tied teammate Jordy Nelson for the NFL lead and set a Packers playoffs record with 21 catches in the postseason.

That, of course, all happened without Jermichael Finley. That's not the case this season.

With 25 catches for 366 yards and three touchdowns, he's on pace for 100 receptions, 1,464 yards and 12 touchdowns. The receptions and yardage would obliterate his career highs while the touchdowns would match marks set in 2007 and 2010.

That's incredible production considering he's a focal point of opposing defenses and part of the team's deepest group of skill players.

"There's pride in it, without a doubt," Bennett said. "When you talk about a guy that wants to be the best, I think that goes into it. When we talk about standards, that's a part of the equation. He truly wants to be the best at his position. I shouldn't say that. He wants to be the best football player, period. That takes pride and he certainly applies himself. When you're talking about a guy that truly studies, that's Greg Jennings. He truly studies the game, truly has a really great understanding of the game of football. That's Greg Jennings, without a doubt."

Over his last seven games dating to last year's playoff romp at Atlanta, Jennings has at least seven or eight catches and/or a touchdown in seven consecutive games.

His only quiet game of this season came against Carolina, when Jennings was held to two catches. Still, one of those went for a 49-yard touchdown. The big plays are a defining trait for Jennings, who's neither especially tall (5-foot-11) or especially fast. Still, he's far and away the league leader with 29 catches of 40-plus yards since the start of the 2007 season, with DeSean Jackson (23) and Andre Johnson (22) barely in sight. He also leads the league with 53 catches of 25-plus yards, and the average of his 43 career touchdowns has been 31.0 yards.

Jennings, who had games of 119 and 101 yards against the Falcons last season, is quick to direct the praise toward his teammates.

"It's a tribute to the talent that we have on this team," Jennings said. "Obviously, it starts with the offensive line and keeping Aaron upright, and it all flows through him. If you can keep him standing straight up, he's going to make you pay."


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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