Jordy Nelson said during the week that he didn’t know what to expect in his return to action for the first time in more than 21 months.
Six catches for 32 yards and a diving 6-yard touchdown catch is a pretty good start as the Green Bay Packers held off the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-23 in the season opener in on Sunday in Jacksonville.
Nelson played the entire first quarter without a catch, but he had three catches during the Packers second-quarter scoring drive, including his touchdown.
Nelson tore his ACL on August 23, 2015 in a preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers and missed all of last season. The Packers held Nelson out of preseason games, so Sunday’s game was his first since the 2015 preseason.
Aaron Rodgers completed 20 of 34 passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns. The biggest game after Jacksonville had taken a 17-14 lead with just over a minute left in the first half. Rodgers drove the Packers into scoring position. Jaguars defensive back Jalen Ramsey, on a blitz, was able to grab Rodgers jersey from behind. Rodgers heaved the ball for the end zone and Davante Adams made a big catch against former teammate Davon House.
The Packers were sloppy at times. Twice they had the ball inside the 10-yard line in the second half and couldn’t score because of poor communication.
Rodgers said there was a misunderstanding with how the play was going to be blocked. He was pressured and had to throw the ball in the flat to Randall Cobb, where he was tackled for no gain. Later, on third and goal at the 2, half of the team thought the play call was a pass and half thought it was a run. James Starks was dropped for no gain.
The Packers needed a big stop on fourth down in the final half-minute to stop the Jaguars from taking the lead and possibly winning the game. They got it to preserve the victory.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy wasn’t thrilled with the sloppy play at times, but he said it’ll be a lot better to be correcting a win instead of a loss.
The Packers will hit the road in week two, facing the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis.