Green Bay Packers: Predicting Stat Leaders in Every Receiving Category for 2012
The Green Bay Packers will send out the top receiving corps in the NFL this upcoming season with names like Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Jermichael Finley, James Jones, Randall Cobb and Donald Driver. The list could continue on and it's simply unfair how much talent the Packers have when it comes to catching the football.
Add in an MVP quarterback coming off one of the best seasons a quarterback has ever had and the Packers should be right back in business in 2012. The passing attack may not finish atop the statistics in yardage, but surely they will be one of the most dangerous and efficient attacks to face.
Receptions: Greg Jennings
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Greg Jennings finished second on the Packers in receptions to Jordy Nelson, who caught one more pass than Jennings. Nelson finished with 68 and Jennings with 67 on the year. While Nelson finished ahead of Jennings, it took him three more games to do it.
Jennings has shown relatively good health previous to getting injured late last season. If he can stay healthy, he will definitely remain the Packers' first target and should catch plenty of passes from Rodgers.
Playing alongside so many other great players, Jennings likely won't catch as many passes as he could on a weaker team. If he plays the full 16-game schedule, he should be up around the 70 to 75 mark next season.
Jennings is also in a contract year, so that added motivation could be a factor.
Yards: Jordy Nelson
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When it came to yards last season, Jordy Nelson blew every other Packers receiver out of the water. He finished the year with 1263 yards while Jennings finished second on the team with 949 yards. Jermichael Finley was third with 767 yards.
While I don't expect Nelson to get the amount of receptions Jennings gets this season, the deep ball will help Nelson finish on top with regards to yardage. Whereas Jennings was once the deep threat, Nelson has definitely taken over that role.
Nelson will build on his breakout season last year and finish the year with around 1150 yards on the season.
Yards Per Catch: Jordy Nelson
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Nelson led the team last year in yards per catch, helped in large part by a 93-yard and 84-yard catch. He had plenty of other long receptions on his way to 1263 yards and 15 touchdowns last season.
Nelson definitely broke out as a threat to take it to the house on any reception with his deceptive speed. He can take a simple slant for the distance or beat a defense over the top on a home-run type of pass from Aaron Rodgers.
While it may not be as high as last season's incredible mark of 18.6 yards per catch, Nelson's numbers for 2012 should be around 17 yards per catch.
Touchdowns: Jermichael Finley
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Against the Chicago Bears last season, Jermichael Finley showed just how dangerous he can be in the red zone. He scored three touchdowns, destroying the Bears on his way to a career day. The rest of the season wasn't as spectacular, as Finley scored five touchdowns the rest of the year, for a total of eight.
Finley has the potential to catch touchdown after touchdown from Rodgers whenever the Packers get closer to the end zone. After a disappointing year, Finley will look to re-energize himself on his current two-year contract, with the hope of hitting a big market in two years.
Finley has 15 touchdown catches in his four-year career, but with a successful campaign in 2012, Finley could reach that number in 16 games this season. He should finish with 12 to 15 touchdowns.
Drops: Donald Driver
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Yes, Jermichael Finley won't lead the Packers in dropped passes next season. Early in his career, Finley was hyped up because of his sure hands. His problem with drops was new to last season and will stay there after Finley spent the offseason hearing countless jokes about his drops.
Donald Driver had quite a few dropped passes last season, but overall as a team, the Packers should be better in that regard with hopefully more attention to hands. Driver dropped two passes in the Packers' only regular season loss last season against Kansas City.