Packers: Revisiting the 1,000-yard receivers

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Maybe you scoffed last week when we broached the possibility that the Green Bay Packers could have three 1,000-yard receivers this season.

Perhaps you said using two games to project season-long statistical numbers wasn’t an accurate predictor of future results.

And that would be understandable.

But it was hard to ignore the production that Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson and James Jones had after those two games. As was noted at the time, Cobb was on pace for 1,888 yards, Nelson for 1,568 and Jones for 1,424.

We’re not going to track their progress toward 1,000-yard seasons every week, but with another game in the books and some free time on our hands with the Packers on their bye week, it’s at the very least interesting to note that all three remain on pace for 1,000-yard seasons.

In fact, Nelson’s pace has hardly changed after he caught eight passes for 93 yards in last Sunday’s loss at Cincinnati. He is on track for 1,541 yards -- only 17 less than his pace after two games.

Cobb, who caught five passes for 54 yards against the Bengals after a pair of 100-yard games to open the season, is on pace for 1,547 yards. Jones, who caught four passes for 34 yards at Cincinnati, is on pace for 1,131 yards.

Of course, an injury or a game without many targets could change that in a hurry. Take tight end Jermichael Finley, for example. After two games, he was on a 968-yard pace until he got knocked out of Sunday’s game with a concussion on the Packers’ sixth offensive play. Without any receptions, his pace now is for 645 yards.

But if the trio of Cobb, Jones and Nelson stay healthy, they’re likely to get enough opportunities each to surpass the 1,000-yard mark. The three-receiver set has been by far coach Mike McCarthy’s favorite formation this season. Cobb, Jones and Nelson have combined to play 95.8 percent of the Packers’ offensive snaps this season. Jones has been on the field for all but three snaps, and Nelson for all but five, while Cobb has played 196 of 215 snaps.