How Do the New York Jets Stop Jordy Nelson?


Sep 4, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver

Jordy Nelson

(87) catches a pass over Seattle Seahawks cornerback

Byron Maxwell

(41) during the second half at CenturyLink Field. Seattle defeated Green Bay 36-16. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Jordy Nelson is maybe the toughest threat down the field for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. We have talked about Nelson’s resume before. Last week, he posted nine catches for 83 yards. Taking him out will be key if the Jets want to have a chance this afternoon. But, how do they do it?

Let’s go inside the film room to find out.

Last week, Rodgers and Nelson lived on short timing routes. Nelson would run short curl routes and slants, and Rodgers would whip him the ball before the defense had a chance to stop it. Aaron would throw to a spot, that Nelson is in or close to, before the back would turn around. Let me show you.

The first play we are going to take a look at is a short hookup from Rodgers to Nelson from the first quarter.

In this play, Jordy Nelson is wide to the left, as indicated by the circle. He will run a curl route, as indicated by the arrow. Watch the release that he gets as we move ahead.

See how the defender is playing Nelson? He is giving him space, worried about the threat of the deep ball, which is understandable. But, leaving him untouched gives Nelson the opportunity to do what he wants. Roll the film!

Here comes the timing part of the system. Look at the circle. Nelson stopped in his tracks and is making his curl. As he is making his cut, Rodgers is already releasing the football, giving the defender no chance to make it back.

Rodgers snapped it in there, Nelson makes the catch with plenty of time to spare before the defender can react.

Eleven yards later and the Packers have moved the chains.

So, what do the Jets do? Get physical with Jordy Nelson, that’s what. For two reasons. The first is that it throws the receiver off of his route, if they do it right. Secondly, when the receiver has to get rid of the defender, it throws off the timing.

The Seahawks tried a little bump and run in the fourth quarter, but didn’t execute it well. On the next page I will show you what I mean.

Here is a play from the fourth quarter when the Seahawks attempted to play physically with Jordy Nelson. They just didn’t take it far enough.

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Again, Jordy Nelson is wide to the left. This time, he is going to run a short post pattern, as indicated by the arrow once again. But the key here is the defender does make contact with Nelson, as he should be within five yards. But, what effect does he have? Let’s see.

Here is where the defender makes contact with Nelson. See in the circle? He puts a hand on Nelson here, to try to give him a bit of a check, or a jam. With only one hand, Nelson has the chance to fight it off, does he? Let’s go ahead.

Take a look at the position that Nelson gets on the defender. I know the camera is far away, but watch the circle. Nelson’s feet are to the inside of the defender as he makes his cut. His hands have also gotten to the inside, almost like a move by a pass rusher.  Nelson is in the process of throwing off the defender, and the bump and run is barely  an obstacle at all.

Jordy Nelson has made his move, sufficiently removing the defender from the play. Rodgers sees this, and sees that his receiver is going to be right where he expects him to be. Rodgers throws an excellent pass in Nelson’s direction.

Nelson found the soft spot in the Seahawks’ zone defense. He makes a perfect hands catch.

It’s another first down for the Packers, and Nelson is near completing an excellent game.

I’m not saying the Jets are better than the Seahawks. I would certainly be a biased fan if I said that. But, the Jets can use this to play more effectively against Jordy Nelson. They have to be extra physical with him. Right on each snap, get not one, but two hands on him as quickly as possible. You must make him alter his route, and throw off his timing with Aaron Rodgers. If they let Nelson run free, the Jets are going to have problems today, and have them quickly.

What do you think? Good assessment? How would you stop Jordy Nelson? Fans let me here what you think.