Nelson, Cobb break 30-year-old franchise record
Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb showed the Eagles and the nation how to start fast.
In the process they erased a franchise record that had stood for 30 years.
Cobb and Nelson combined for more than 200 receiving yards Sunday as the Packers overwhelmed the Eagles 53-20 at Lambeau Field. It was the fifth time this season the duo has surpassed the milestone.
Philadelphia and its hyper-paced offense had nothing on Nelson and Cobb. At halftime, the two had more yards receiving (206) than the entire Eagles team had rushing and passing combined (177).
By game's end, Cobb had 10 catches for 129 yards. Nelson had four for 109.
The two accounted for 238 of Green Bay's 367 gross passing yards.
Nelson and Cobb have been producing like few receiving tandems in team history. This is their fourth year together and their numbers through 10 games are eye-opening.
Nelson has 60 catches for 998 yards and 9 touchdowns. Cobb is right behind with 54 grabs for 779 yards and 10 touchdowns.
The two have become quarterback Aaron Rodgers' favorite targets. Rodgers threw 23 passes their way Sunday.
Don Hutson and running back Andy Uram were the first Packers to combine for 200 yards receiving in a game. In the 1942 season opener, the Alabama Antelope snagged eight passes for 147 yards while Uram added 64 more on three receptions in a 44-28 loss to the Bears.
In the years that followed, Boyd Dowler/Max McGee, Antonio Freeman/Robert Brooks, Greg Jennings/Donald Driver and others surpassed 200 yards more than once. Unlikely combos such as Phillip Epps-Ed West, Ken Payne-John Brockington and Sterling Sharpe-Herman Fontenot even managed to do so once.
For years, the record belonged to James Lofton and Paul Coffman. During the five years between 1980 and 1984, they topped 200 yards together eight times.
Donald Driver and Greg Jennings tied the record in 2008. They teamed up for an eighth and final time in a 31-21 win over the Lions in that season's finale.
Sunday, they were relegated to second place. Nelson and Cobb moved ahead of them with their ninth showing.
Nelson snagged the catch that put them over late in the second quarter. He caught a 10-yard bullet from Rodgers with 2:09 remaining before halftime.
On the next play, Nelson drew a pass interference call on cornerback Bradley Fletcher in the end zone. Eddie Lacy then scored to give Green Bay a 30-6 lead.
Ten of Cobb and Nelson's 12 first-half receptions were good for first downs. All came on scoring drives as the Packers did not punt until the third quarter.
Nelson (141) and Cobb (102) first teamed up for more than 200 yards in a 42-24 win over the Texans on Oct. 14, 2012. A week later, they had 211 yards in a 30-20 victory at St. Louis.
In 2013, they twice topped 200. They opened the season in San Francisco with 238 yards and closed in Chicago with 216.
With five games this season, Cobb and Nelson have tied Donald Driver and Javon Walker for the most such games in one season. Walker and Driver set the mark in 2004, but only had three 200-yards efforts through 10 games that year.
For a couple minutes it appeared as though the Packers might score a TD on their opening drive for a fifth straight time. When Rodgers hit Nelson with a 64-yard bomb down the sidelines on the game's third play, the receiver set Green Bay up with a first-and-goal from the 9-yard line.
But Rodgers threw incomplete three straight times including a third-down shot for Nelson in the back of the end zone that almost clicked. Mason Crosby kicked a 27-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead with 12 minutes, 58 seconds remaining in the quarter.
Had Rodgers and Co. reached the end zone, they would have tied the 1961 Packers for the franchise record. Led by Bart Starr, Green Bay scored TDs on its opening possessions five straight times in Weeks 4 through 8. The streak ended after a three-and-out forced a Boyd Dowler punt on Nov. 12.
Pairs of Packers receivers with the most games in which they combined for 200 or more yards receiving.
9 Randall Cobb/Jordy Nelson
8 Paul Coffman/James Lofton
8 Donald Driver/Greg Jennings
7 Boyd Dowler/Max McGee
7 Gerry Ellis/James Lofton
6 Robert Brooks/Antonio Freeman