The Non-Nelson Triumvirate
On a night where the offense found something which was working for them (finally), it may surprise you that Jordy Nelson was barely involved in the newfound successful attack. On the night he was only targeted four times for one catch (9 yards), and while he did get also get a defensive pass interference call in his favor at one point, he wasn’t a focal point.
This was partly because of the coverage being thrown his way — as well as him coming up limping at one point — but the main reason was because Green Bay was getting major contributions from the other receiving options at Rodgers’ disposal.
I already discussed Montgomery’s contributions earlier, but he wasn’t the only one making a huge impact for his quarterback; he was joined by Randall Cobb and Davante Adams in forming a hydra which Chicago could not stop.
It was a surprise Adams could even play after suffering a concussion against Dallas (with Sam Shields missing multiple games due to concussions the past couple seasons we have an in-house example of how long that process of recovery can be), but it was even more fortuitous than could have been imagined for his team that he could dress for the contest.
Though he was one of many who struggled to consistently get open, it didn’t end up mattering; whenever the ball was thrown his way, he seemed to come down with it despite even the tightest coverage.
His first touchdown catch in the second half was an incredible effort which gave Green Bay the lead for good, but he didn’t stop there. By the end of the night, he had an array of excellent efforts to cap a record-setting night: 13 catches on 16 targets, 132 receiving yards, and 2 TDs — the first-ever 10+ catch/100+ yard/2 TD effort by a wide receiver at Lambeau field EVER.
Cobb meanwhile acted as an excellent outlet for Rodgers, turning a handful of quick throws into decent gains despite having defenders glued to his hip.
He was the only player even close to making noise for Rodgers in the first half, coming inches away from a touchdown catch at the end of the second quarter (the 5th time in the past three games where he and Rodgers should have had a TD connection but it was barely missed), and across the night combined his work in the passing game (11 catches on 15 targets, 95 yards, 1 TD) with a few carries (5 rushes, 21 yards) for a productive evening.
While I’m sure we would all feel more comfortable seeing Nelson be a bigger part of the gameplan in future weeks, if he is unable to perform up to the standards we’ve come to expect from him (whether due to coverage or health issues), we have on the books some hard evidence (i.e.: 10+ catches for three different players) that the players beyond Jordy can perform to a winning degree if called upon.