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Jordy Nelson continuing to make history

Posted Dec 11, 2016

T.J. Lang returns ahead of schedule from foot injury

GREEN BAY — It’s never been about statistics for Jordy Nelson.

Since the day he came to Green Bay, the only thing the Packers’ Pro Bowl receiver has looked to achieve is victory. If the personal accolades come with it, then all the better.

So it wasn’t a surprise to hear Nelson forgo relishing in his two-touchdown performance in lieu of the Packers’ impressive 38-10 win over Seattle, giving the team its third consecutive victory to stay in the thick of the NFC playoff hunt.

“I don’t think I ever put expectations on myself numbers-wise,” Nelson said. “I don’t any season whether I’m coming back healthy or coming off an injury. There’s so many things that go into that to determine it.

“For me, it was more about being here day-to-day and the grind of not missing a practice, being out there every game, being with the guys. I think that sets you up to be successful.”

Still, there is something impressive about how Nelson has bounced back from a season-ending knee injury in 2015 to once again become the Packers’ leading receiver with 75 catches for 913 yards and 12 touchdowns.

It’s the third time in Nelson’s career he has at least 12 touchdown receptions in a season, joining Sterling Sharpe as the only two players in team history to do so.

Also, Nelson’s 41 receiving yards propelled him to 7,022 for his career, becoming just the fifth player in team history to eclipse 7,000 yards.

However, there may be no stat that better embodies his consistency than the fact he now has caught 57 touchdown passes from Aaron Rodgers, which ties Brett Favre and Antonio Freeman for the most productive touchdown combination in franchise history.

“It means we’ve been successful and we’ve put in a lot of time,” Nelson said. “It’s another thing we’ll be able to look back on at the end of the season, end of our careers and see what we’ve been able to accomplish.

“It’s a reminder to me of the time and work we’ve both put in individually and together on the practice field, in the meeting rooms, on the sideline, and just reaping the benefits for it.”

While Nelson’s two touchdowns helped shut the door on the Seahawks, it was actually third-year receiver Davante Adams who got the offense started with a 66-yard touchdown catch from Rodgers on the third play of the game.

 Rodgers threw a picture-perfect pass to Adams, who beat Seattle cornerback Jeremy Lane along the right sideline. It was the longest reception of Adams’ young career.

“It’s big. That’s what we need,” said Adams, who finished with four catches for 104 yards. “You think about the games that we have won, it’s been because we came out hot.

“It may not be the first drive, but just coming out with that intensity and making sure we get a fast start. It’s huge. We did it against Detroit. This game, obviously, and several other games we come out firing.”

After Ty Montgomery chipped in his first career rushing touchdown to start the second quarter, Nelson gained enough separation in the end zone to haul in the 9-yard touchdown pass to give Green Bay a 21-3 lead at halftime.

He then doubled down with a 3-yard touchdown with 4:24 left in the third quarter to end any hope of a Seahawks’ comeback. In the end, the Packers’ offense put up 38 points against a Seattle defense that was allowing a league-low 16 points per game.

Green Bay did so by spreading the ball around and taking advantage of mismatches.   

“I think that’s the benefit we have of guys on this team who can play different positions,” Nelson said. “We can formulate things certain ways to get certain matchups. I think it allows us to understand the coverage. It allows Aaron to understand the coverage and then he can pick a defense apart by the matchups he sees.

“That’s why when you come into this building, you don’t learn a certain position – you learn the offense because we can call any formation.”

Toughing it out: Doctors initially told T.J. Lang he could be out up to two months with the broken foot he suffered against Tennessee on Nov. 13.

The veteran guard wound up missing three games.

Lang returned Sunday against the Seahawks and looked no worse for wear against one of the league’s top defensive fronts, which managed only one sack and three hits on Rodgers.

“I’ll probably be a little sore later, but I feel pretty good,” Lang said. “I was trying to play smart, trying to anticipate where the piles were going to be and try to get my feet out of the way, but I feel like I came out pretty good. Definitely sore, but I think a win like that takes away some pain.”

The most painful part of Lang’s day actually had nothing to do with his foot, but rather an instance where he felt he was hit in the groin by Seattle defensive end Cliff Avril at the end of a play.

Lang was infuriated and wanted a flag for unsportsmanlike conduct, but understood it was important to not draw a foul himself.

 “The ref was standing right there and he just said he didn’t see it. So, it is what it is,” Lang said. “I mean, you know, it’s football. Two intense teams going at it and sometimes that stuff happens.

“You’ve got to be bigger than it. It’s hard not to retaliate at a moment like that but I think you clearly saw some frustration coming out of them. I’m really proud of the way we handled the business and didn’t retaliate, didn’t get any dumb penalties.”

Ringo’s rush: Christian Ringo thought his days of running the 40-yard dash were over. Then, Packers defensive line coach Mike Trgovac told him to get back out on the field.

Ringo, who’d just run back to the sideline, was told the Packers only had 10 defenders on the field with Seattle going for it on fourth-and-3 from its 39 with 12 minutes remaining.

Without stopping to get into his three-point stance, Ringo timed his rush perfectly with the snap and knocked Seattle guard Mark Glowinski back to help force the incompletion.

“I actually wasn’t supposed to be out there,” Ringo said. “Coach ‘Trgo’ just told me, ‘Go back in there. Go back in there.’ So I’m running back in there and the ball snapped, so I was like, ‘Well, I’ll try to get pressure’ and blitzed. I knew I had a running start so I tried to run through him.”

Ringo, a sixth-round pick in 2015, also forced a fumble that was recovered by Packers safety Kentrell Brice with 1 minute remaining. It was the Packers’ sixth and final takeaway of the game.

Injury front: Packers tight end Jared Cook left with a chest injury before halftime and didn’t return. He had one catch for 15 yards before sustaining the injury on a deep incompletion along Seattle’s sideline with 1:55 left in the first half.

Other stories:

Spofford: Packers get 'big chunk of confidence' by dominating Seahawks

Hodkiewicz: Defense sets the tone with six turnovers

Spofford: Rodgers isn't getting healthier, only hotter


 
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