Nine moments that made Jordy Nelson a star for the Green Bay Packers

JR Radcliffe
Packers News
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Former Green Bay wide receiver Jordy Nelson has decided to retire, bringing to an end a career that will always be associated with the Packers.

Nelson, a second-round pick out of Kansas State in 2008, didn’t enter the league with the fanfare that he eventually accrued. He retires after becoming one of the Packers' most productive and popular players.

Here are nine special moments that will stick with us. 

9. Dec. 30, 2012: Capture the flag

Jordy Nelson helped the Packers get away with a penalty in a 37-34 loss against the Vikings – something we can laugh heartily about now. The Packers won 24-10 the following week in a wild-card rematch.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy threw a challenge flag onto the field when a James Jones ball near the goal line was ruled a fumble. Since all turnovers are automatically reviewed, the challenge flag toss could have resulted in a penalty. That same scenario had been a huge factor in a game earlier that year on Thanksgiving between Houston and Detroit, when a Lions penalty played a role in costing them the game.

Nelson, realizing the potential danger, picked up the flag and stuffed it in his jersey pants, and referee Mike Carey didn’t see the flag (having already begun to review the play).

8. Nov. 14, 2011: Get out of my face

On Monday Night Football, the Packers rolled to a 45-7 victory over the Vikings, and Nelson’s early third-quarter touchdown put the game out of reach. The 17-yarder featured a short catch and then a stiff-arm to dismiss Cedric Griffin and set up a lunge for the goal line. Nelson finished with 63 yards receiving and two touchdowns as the Packers moved to 9-0.

7. Dec. 15, 2013: The Orlando Leap

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson (87) hauls in  a touchdown pass while being defended by Dallas Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick (32) to start the second half during the Green Bay Packers 37-36 win over the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, December 15, 2103 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

With their backs to the wall, the Packers made an improbable run to the 2013 playoffs with Aaron Rodgers sidelined by injury. One of the most incredible wins came in Dallas, with Matt Flynn at quarterback. Flynn’s pass was short to Nelson in the end zone early in the third quarter, but a leaping grab over defensive back Orlando Scandrick put the Packers ahead, 26-10. Green Bay held on for a 37-36 win, and Nelson caught five balls for 61 yards.

6. Jan. 1, 2012: Finishing 15-1

Jordy Nelson after one of his first half TD's.  The Green Bay Packers defeated the Detroit Lions 45-41 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay WI Sunday January 1, 2012.

Speaking of Flynn, Nelson’s biggest game may have been the regular-season finale in 2012 with Flynn leading the way and Rodgers resting for the playoffs. The Packers capped off their 15-1 season against Detroit, where Nelson caught nine balls for 162 yards and a career-best three touchdowns, including one from 58 yards away. One week earlier, Nelson reeled in a 95-yard touchdown against the Rams.

5. Sept. 14, 2014: The jet

Nelson finished this game with 209 yards on nine catches, including an 80-yard touchdown with 2:08 to go in the third quarter that broke a tie and accounted for the winning points.

4. Nov. 9, 2014: A Bears beatdown

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson  celebrates a touchdown catch in the first half during the Green Bay Packers-Chicago Bears NFL football game at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Sunday, November 9, 2014.

On Sunday Night Football, the Packers crushed Chicago, 55-14, taking a 42-0 lead at halftime. Nelson caught touchdowns of 73 and 40 yards and finished with six catches for 152 yards.

Nelson’s 1,060 yards against the Bears are the most against any opponent in his career.

3. Dec. 18, 2016: Call it a comeback

Nelson returned from a torn ACL that cost him the entire 2015 season to earn Comeback Player of the Year honors n 2016. Perhaps his most notable play was with a crucial catch in a Week 15 win over the Bears. Rodgers dropped a 60-yard pass over Nelson’s shoulder for a diving catch with less than 30 seconds to go, setting up the game-winning field goal from Mason Crosby for a 30-27 win. The Packers closed the year on a six-game winning streak to reach the playoffs, ultimately making a run to the NFC Championship game.

2. Nov. 30, 2014: The New England game

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson scores a touchdown on a 45-yard reception during the second quarter of their game against the New England Patriots Sunday, November 30, 2014 at Lambeau Field.

It was a high visibility battle between the 8-3 Packers and 9-2 Patriots at Lambeau Field, one that ended with a 26-21 victory for the Packers. The Packers’ lead was down to 16-14 when Nelson got the best of star defensive back Darrelle Revis and turned on the jets for a 45-yard touchdown with 14 seconds left before halftime. It was one of only two Nelson catches in the game, but it was memorable.

1. Feb. 6, 2011: The Super Bowl, obviously

Nelson hadn’t broken out as a star receiver until Green Bay defeated Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLV, 31-25. Nelson’s 29-yard touchdown started the scoring, and he finished with nine catches on 15 targets for 140 yards and the score. A star was born.

What other memories do you associate with Jordy Nelson? JR Radcliffe can be reached at (262) 361-9141 or Follow him on Twitter at @JRRadcliffe.


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