Friday, September 29, 2017

Jordy Nelson: Thousandaire Extraordinaire

Jordy Nelson: Thousandaire Extraordinaire
By Eric Goska
Don Hutson: The Original Packers-Bears Thousandaire
Jordy Nelson has been collecting receiving yards against the Bears for years.

Thursday at Lambeau Field, the Packers wide receiver was productive enough to move into an exclusive club, one that has yet to admit a member from Chicago.

Nelson amassed the most receiving yards of any player Thursday night as Green Bay upended the Chicago Bears 35-14 at Lambeau Field before 78,362 fans. He had the evening’s longest reception as well.

Just as a shopper can be rewarded with cash back or rewards for purchases, Nelson has earned enough yardage to gain entry into a select group. The 32-year-old is the latest to attain 1,000 yards receiving in the Packers-Bears rivalry.

Playing in his 125th regular-season game, Nelson caught four passes for 75 yards and two touchdowns. All four catches brought first downs.

With 75 yards, Nelson boosted his career total to 1,040 regular-season receiving yards against the Bears. That haul includes 65 receptions and eight touchdowns.

Nelson was quiet in the early going Thursday. He was targeted just once in the first quarter and a half, and he dropped that throw after getting smacked hard by safety Eddie Jackson near the sideline.

Given a second chance, Nelson didn’t disappoint. The receiver turned a 44-yard throw into a 58-yard gain after cornerbacks Marcus Cooper and Kyle Fuller knocked each other to the ground near the Chicago 15-yard line. Safety Adrian Amos tackled Nelson at the 2, but Packers rookie Aaron Jones barreled into the end zone on the next play and Green Bay went up 21-0.

Nelson gained only 17 yards on his final three catches, but all advanced the Packers’ cause. His 5-yard, fourth-down reception kept alive a 13-play drive that he capped with a 4-yard TD reception to put the Pack up 28-7. His 8-yard grab on third down to open the fourth quarter propelled Green Bay to its biggest lead at 35-7.

Seventy-five years have passed since Don Hutson started the 1,000-yard Packers-Bears receiving club. The incomparable end surpassed 1,000 yards in 1942, and he remains the leader with 1,465 yards.

In addition to Hutson and Nelson, three others are in the group: Sterling Sharpe (1,134), James Lofton (1,127) and Donald Driver (1,082).

There’s not a Bear among them. The closest, according to Pro Football Reference, is Curtis Conway at 687 yards.

Since 2008, Nelson’s rookie year, only Calvin Johnson of the Lions has been a more productive receiver against the Bears. Johnson caught 94 passes for 1,436 yards and 11 TDs from 2008 until he retired after the 2015 season.

The Bears are the first team that Nelson has clipped for 1,000 yards. Up next are the Vikings (863) and Lions (724).

Extra point
Nelson’s most productive season against the Bears was 2014 when he caught 16 passes for 260 yards and four TDs. Nelson has surpassed 100 yards receiving five times against Chicago.

Packers who caught 1,000 or more yards worth of passes in the Green Bay-Chicago regular-season series.

Yards  Player                   Years
1,465   Don Hutson            1935-1945
1,134   Sterling Sharpe       1988-1994
1,127   James Lofton          1978-1986
1,082   Donald Driver         1999-2011
1,040   Jordy Nelson          2008-2017


  1. ....outstanding story Eric.....not even Harlon Hill could gain 1,000 against the Pack.

  2. Wow! Nice story. Just think what a great receiver Don Hutson was in a time where offenses mainly ran the ball. My dad use to talk about how great Don Hutson was against the Bears at Old City Stadium (Green Bay East High School Stadium now).

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