5

June

Fun With Round Numbers: Can Packers WR Randall Cobb Catch 100 Passes?

Can Packers WR Randall Cobb catch 100 passes in 2013?

Can Packers WR Randall Cobb catch 100 passes in 2013?

For a franchise that has had an all-pro caliber quarterback for the last 20 years, the list of Packers wide receivers with 100 catches in a season is short.

Very short.

No Packers receiver has caught 100 passes in a season since Robert Brooks in 1995. Sterling Sharpe is the only other Packers receiver to catch at least 100 passes, doing it in 1992 and ’93.

Compare that with Peyton Manning, who connected with Marvin Harrison (4), Reggie Wayne (4) and Dallas Clark (1) on at least 100 passes nine times. Or Tom Brady, who has helped Wes Welker go over 100 catches five times and Troy Brown once. Or Jerry Rice and Terrell Owens, who have five 100-catch seasons under Joe Montana and Steve Young.

The Packers have shown that you can still win Super Bowls and enjoy sustained success without a 100-catch receiver. Nonetheless, Aaron Rodgers has said that he thinks Randall Cobb is capable of catching 100 passes, if he stays healthy.

When the topic was brought up on Monday’s Green and Gold Today, co-host Bill Johnson said Rodgers’ comments were “troubling” and worried about Rodgers changing his spread-the-ball around approach and forcing the ball to Cobb.

I don’t think Cobb catching 100 passes would be “troubling,” but the Packers’ offense seems to function just fine with several receivers getting opportunities to make plays. But if Cobb happens to enter triple figures, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the other receivers have underperformed or Rodgers is locked in on Cobb and only Cobb.

Rodgers is adamant that he throws to whomever is open. If Cobb is open 140 times, and Rodgers throws to him successfully at least 100 times, so be it. It doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s locking on Cobb to the detriment of other receivers who are open somewhere else.

We like having nice round numbers like “100″ to lock in on and establish some sort of benchmark. But those round numbers don’t always tell the whole story.

Sure, Cobb is capable of catching 100 passes. He’s a great receiver with a knack for adjusting his routes and finding open space after Rodgers scrambles. He also might get some more opportunities after the departure of Greg Jennings

2

January

Packers vs. Lions: 5 Observations from Green Bay’s 45-41 Win over Detroit

Packers QB Matt Flynn broke several franchise records Sunday. (Photo: Tom Lynn, JSOnline)

Backup quarterback Matt Flynn threw six touchdowns in relief of a deactivated Aaron Rodgers Sunday, leading the Green Bay Packers to a 45-41 shootout win over the Detroit Lions in Week 17 at Lambeau Field.

Here are five observations from the Packers’ win:

1. Cha-Ching 

In throwing for a Packers’ record in both passing yards (480) and touchdowns (six), Matt Flynn vaulted himself to the top of the 2012 free agent quarterback class. He’ll become a rich man sometime this summer, as there will likely be at least one quarterback-needy team that pays big money to Flynn despite only two NFL starts.

Any chance of the Packers trying to re-sign as a backup him went out the window Sunday. He’s ready to start, and that’s not happening in Green Bay. It’ll be interesting to see how the Packers approach the impending situation this offseason, however. They could choose to let Flynn walk and simply net the compensatory pick in next year’s draft. Or, they could franchise tag him and then pursue a trade, which gives them control over the compensation and location. I don’t think any team in the division is a threat to sign Flynn, but the Packers’ decision regarding their backup quarterback is definitely something to watch after this season.

2. More than a steal

You would be hard-pressed to find a receiver that had a better calendar year than Jordy Nelson. His stunning run started in Super Bowl XLV and has been followed by a breakout 2011 season. On the first day of 2012, Nelson finished his career year with another career game. Nelson caught nine passes for 162 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday, pushing his season totals to 68 for 1,263 and 15. Nelson’s 15 receiving touchdowns is third in Packers history to only 18 from Sterling Sharpe in 1994 and 17 from Don Hutson in 1942.

But possibly the most encouraging part of Nelson’s day was the fact that he did it without Greg Jennings, who missed his third game with a sprained knee. Any concerns about Nelson’s capability of handling the lead role were calmed. He’s a legitimate No. 1 NFL receiver. Can you believe the Packers re-upped Nelson for four years and just $14 million? What a steal that deal looks like now.