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I had to do a double-take when I saw that Jordy Nelson caught 15 touchdown passes last year. Are you freaking kidding me? Guys like Reggie Wayne, Hines Ward and Torry Holt never topped 12, but this guy caught 15?
Sorry fans of complete and utter chaos, it isn't happening again. Don't get me wrong, Nelson is a very good No. 2 receiver, but he's not catching 15 touchdown passes twice in a row.
I direct your attention once again to the Calvin Johnson slide, where the "16 touchdowns in a year is unsustainable" argument can be applied here. Adding to that, Johnson is a once in a generation talent. Nelson is an above average No. 2 receiver. If Johnson can't do it then Nelson won't either.
While Nelson is a huge beneficiary of playing with Aaron Rodgers, that will actually be the major cause of his statistical decline this year. The nature of Green Bay's offense is throwing to whomever's open. Last year that just happened to be Nelson, but who's to say that this year it won't be Randall Cobb? Or Jermichael Finley?
There's also the irrefutable evidence that Rodgers will drop off significantly this year as well. The only quarterback who has even come close to Rodgers' 122.5 passer rating was Peyton Manning in 2004 with a rating of 121.1, which immediately regressed back to 104.1 the following year.
We continuously see this with passer ratings above 105. Kurt Warner had one of 109.2 in 1999, then fell back to 98.3 in 2000. The same goes for Brett Favre from 2009 to 2010, Daunte Culpepper from 2004 to 2005, Tom Brady from 2007 to 2009 (since he missed all of 2008) and Dan Marino from 1984 to 1985.
It's simply impossible for a quarterback to play at that level for two seasons in a row. Injuries catch up with you, the league figures you out, the bottom line is we just don't see that happen. Rodgers is going to be worse, and his targets are going to suffer statistically because of it.
The utter randomness of the Green Bay offense combined with an expected decline from Rodgers is going to keep Jordy Nelson out of the end zone next year. His performance could be exactly the same yet he might still catch only three or four touchdowns. That just goes to show how many other factors matter for wide receivers.