Not only are the Packers riding a four game winning streak, but they are now firmly in control of their playoff density…I mean, destiny.
You know what play this is going to be. I really didn’t have a choice in the matter.
So hey. Enough of my yakkin’. Whaddya say? Let’s boogie.
Here’s what I said immediately following the play:
Bears likely in Cover 1. Nelson was already inside the CB. Once he was clear of the safety, it was over.
— Dusty (@DustyEvely) December 18, 2016
At the time, that’s what it looked like. I saw the shallow safety that Jordy Nelson  blew past and didn’t see anyone coming over the top from the other side, leading me to believe it was Cover 1. Plays like this are the reason I started watching the All 22 film: there are a lot of things you just can’t see from the broadcast view.
After watching this play a few dozen times, it looks like the Bears are in Quarters coverage. If you watch the middle safety closest to Nelson, you can see him shade over to Nelson’s side initially before turning his attention back to the underneath routes. In fact, it looks like it may very well be the route of Davante Adams  out of the slot to the right of the line that holds the safety on Nelson’s side to the middle. Adams is running a mid crossing route that could be turned upfield. If Adams turns that up, it’s the responsibility of that safety.
Still, it seems like he should have at least seen Jordy Nelson beat his man clean.
Nelson’s route is pretty subtle. He runs straight up the field at the defender’s outside shoulder, looking like he’s running a go route. As soon as the defender turns to run with Nelson on the sideline, Nelson veers back inside. The defender can’t turn in time. With both middle defenders held up, there’s no help to the inside.
Let’s go to another angle.
Aaron Rodgers  has a clean pocket. You can see him looking down the middle of the field initially. Once he sees the two defenders in the middle holding in place, he knows he has Nelson. So he fades to his left to get a better throwing angle – and to avoid the bit of commotion happening to his right – and unleashes a bomb.
What an absolutely perfect throw. It’s gorgeous. I want to adopt it and put it through medical school. I know it’ll be expensive, but nothing is too pricey for my baby.
Let’s watch the broadcast angle, because I want to see this as many times as possible.
I don’t know about you all, but we were going nuts. I had feared that the Lions would lose and we wouldn’t be able to take advantage of that. Thank you, Rodgers-to-Nelson.
How do you feel about this play, oddly dressed Bears mascot?
I almost feel bad for him.
Album listened to: Sam Cooke – Night Beat
As a reminder, if you have put out any music that you would like featured in this space, hit me up with a link on Twitter or email.
Also, in addition to One Big Play and Eye in the Sky, I also put a bunch of plays up on Twitter that don’t make it to either of those articles. So feel free to follow me over there for more fun.