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Lombardi trophy returns to Titletown
Nelson eclipses Packers McGee for receiving yards
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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Jordy Nelson didn’t let a few bobbles stand in the way of a breakout performance in the biggest game of his life.
Yes, the third-year pro from Kansas State dropped a few passes that hit his hands, but he more than made up for it: nine catches for 140 yards and a touchdown in Green Bay’s 31-25 Super Bowl win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
“It isn’t sinking in yet,” Nelson said. “Hopefully, (I’ll) see a bunch of highlights someday down the road and realize that is was me. I tried as hard as possible to forget that is was the Super Bowl and treat it like a normal game.”
In the Packers run, Nelson had 12 catches for 146 yards and a TD in wins over the Eagles, the Falcons and the Bears. He nearly matched that output against the Steelers, with his 140 yards topping Max McGee’s Packers Super Bowl receiving record of 138 yards back in 1967.
The Kansas farm kid from Riley, who played in high school at Class 2A Riley County, was all over the field at Cowboys Stadium, snaring passes from Aaron Rodgers — including a 29-yarder in the right corner of the end zone that gave the Packers a 7-0 lead.
He and Rodgers also hooked up on a 38-yard catch-and-run to the Steelers’ 3 that set up the TD that put the Packers ahead 28-17 early in the fourth quarter.
Nelson managed to avoid AP Defensive Player of the Year Troy Polamalu most of the time.
“There wasn’t anything we were trying to single out or go away from, we just needed to know where he was,” Nelson said. “Aaron made great decisions all day.”
Nelson and James Jones are the backups for Greg Jennings and Donald Driver, but Nelson came on strong at the end of the season.
On his TD catch, the 6-foot-2, 217-pound Nelson said, “Aaron gave me a little signal if it was press (coverage). It was actually a screen play but he checked to go to a route.”
Added Rodgers: “He made a great catch, and he made a big play for us there in the fourth quarter. He’s just a great teammate, and a great player.”
ROONEY REACTION: It’s rare that the Rooney family returns from these Super Bowl trips without a little extra something in their suitcases — specifically, the Lombardi Trophy.
On their team’s eighth trip to the Super Bowl, the Rooneys came up short for only the second time. They still hold the record with six championships.
“Just said, ‘thanks,’” Steelers president Art Rooney II said when asked what he told the players. “You know, they worked hard, we appreciated the effort they put in all year. They got us close to winning a seventh championship and that’s pretty impressive.”
By doing things “The Steeler Way,” the Rooneys have built what is arguably the most stable franchise in the NFL over the past four decades. A win Sunday would’ve given the Steelers three titles in six years and would have put them close to cementing another dynasty — one to pair with the one that captured four titles in six years in the 1970s.
Could still happen.
“I feel good about our organization,” Rooney said. “We lost to a good team and a great franchise. My hat’s off to those guys for what they accomplished this year. We just fell a little bit short.”