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.”