Nelson’s Season One of Best in NFL History

If you think Jordy Nelson is only catching Packers history this season, you are missing his true excellence. Just check out this 14-player list of elite receiving seasons. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY)

Jordy Nelson is too busy making history to talk about it.

With 92 receptions for 1,433 yards and 13 touchdowns entering Sunday’s regular-season finale against Detroit, Nelson is having a brilliant season. His reception count is tied for the fifth-best in Packers history, his yardage mark ranks third and his touchdown total is tied for seventh.

With 65 yards against the Lions, he’ll break Robert Brooks’ single-season franchise record of 1,497 yards, set in 1995. With 67 yards, he’ll reach 1,500 for the season. There have been only 36 1,500-yard receiving seasons in NFL history.

“I think that’s something we’ll be able to look back on, either after the season or at the end of the career,” Nelson said this week. “A lot of people have always said, and I’ve always said, when you get in the record books or done things that have never been done here in Packer history, it’s an honor. To be a part of that would be great, but we can address that later. At that point, I’ll probably have a better answer for you, but right now, just trying to do what we need to do on Sunday to get that win, and we’ll see what ends up at the end of that.”

Nelson needs eight receptions to get to 100 for the season. That’s a lot, though certainly not out of reach for Nelson, who has a franchise-record five games of at least nine receptions this season. Only Sterling Sharpe (112 in 1993 and 108 in 1992) and Brooks (102 in 1995) have caught 100 balls in a season in team annals.

More than Packers history, Nelson is having one of the best seasons for a receiver in NFL history. Just look at the chart at the end of this story, with data from Pro-Football-Reference.com. His is just the 14th season in NFL history with at least 92 receptions, 1,433 yards and 13 receiving touchdowns.

If he can get to 100 receptions and 1,500 yards and add a touchdown to increase his total to 14, the company grows incredibly rare. There have been only four seasons of 100 catches, 1,500 yards and 14 touchdowns.

For Nelson, that’s all well and good. That the team is 11-4 and in the thick of the championship hunt is all that matters.

“It’s been great. It’s been a lot of fun,” Nelson said. “We’re winning games, which is always enjoyable. There’s still been those ups and downs but it’s been fun to be able to go out and make plays and get those opportunities and, most importantly, win games. Winning makes everything great. Hopefully we can continue it for a few more games.”

Receiving
Rk Year Tm Rec Yds Y/R TD Y/G
1 Herman Moore 1995 DET 123 1686 13.71 14 105.4
2 Jerry Rice* 1995 SFO 122 1848 15.15 15 115.5
3 Isaac Bruce 1995 STL 119 1781 14.97 13 111.3
4 Jerry Rice* 1994 SFO 112 1499 13.38 13 93.7
5 Randy Moss 2003 MIN 111 1632 14.70 17 102.0
6 Marvin Harrison 2001 IND 109 1524 13.98 15 95.3
7 Sterling Sharpe 1992 GNB 108 1461 13.53 13 91.3
8 Robert Brooks 1995 GNB 102 1497 14.68 13 93.6
9 Jerry Rice* 1990 SFO 100 1502 15.02 13 93.9
10 Randy Moss 2007 NWE 98 1493 15.23 23 93.3
11 Jerry Rice* 1993 SFO 98 1503 15.34 15 93.9
12 Terrell Owens 2000 SFO 97 1451 14.96 13 103.6
13 Calvin Johnson 2011 DET 96 1681 17.51 16 105.1
14 Jordy Nelson 2014 GNB 92 1433 15.58 13 95.5
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/27/2014.

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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