Scout’s Eye: Jordy Nelson, Odell Beckham can’t be stopped

Nov 20, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) runs out of bounds after a reception in the third quarter against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 20, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) runs out of bounds after a reception in the third quarter against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports /

With Week 17 approaching, we see a pair of dynamic receivers stepping up in Odell Beckham Jr. and Jordy Nelson.

We are now in the home stretch of the 2016 NFL season. Many of the teams are playing out their run with thoughts of 2017 and job security at the top of their priorities. Others are battling to get into the postseason, while a few of the top teams are contemplating how to handle Week 17 with little to play for.

Unfortunately we saw injuries that could really impact the rest of the season. Below are few observations from Week 16:

Odell Beckham needs help

On Thursday Night, Odell Beckham put on a show. Clearly he is among the few truly elite offensive weapons in football. But targeting Beckham 20 times and showing very little else on the offensive side of the ball is a long-term recipe for disaster for New York.

Sure, the Giants sport one of the NFL’s best defenses and Eli Manning has been known to heat up this time of year, but Manning has been a liability more than an asset, especially of late. Two rookies, Sterling Shepard and Paul Perkins, have been impressive and should have bright futures in the Big Apple. Their role could be growing. And it needs to, because for as great as Beckham is, he can’t do it alone for New York’s offense, especially with the way Manning is playing.

Jaguars get late encouragement

Blake Bortles has been utterly terrible this year and there is no question that he regressed from a campaign ago, a season in which is appeared as though Bortles was improving very nicely. But on Sunday, we saw a strong showing by Bortles, which reminds us all of what he might be and the showing by Allen Robinson was also highly encouraging.

With all respect to Marquise Lee, Allen Hurns and the rest, the Jaguars’ passing game absolutely has to go through Robinson. A new coaching staff could help quite a bit for Bortles. However, it would be a major mistake for the new decision makers to put their eggs in the Bortles’ basket. They should certainly bring in a contingency plan at quarterback either in the form of a proven veteran quarterback with starting experience (Tony Romo perhaps?) or in the form of a first or second day draft pick.

If Bortles plays in 2017 as he has for almost all of this current season where his release, dissecting of coverages and overall accuracy all massively digressed, he must be benched. But nonetheless, Sunday was very promising (and hopefully not just a tease). Bortles more than any quarterback in the league looks much better in the box score than on tape, but the opposite might actually be true in this performance where he racked up 325 yards through the air against a Titans’ secondary that needs a ton of work this offseason.

It is just a tiny sample to what this talented young quarterback and team as a whole could become with the proper tutelage, although even if Bortles does actually emerge, changing the losing culture in Jacksonville will be a severe challenge.

Jordy Nelson is a superstar

While Aaron Rodgers is playing at a league MVP level during this impressive Packers winning streak, Jordy Nelson is staking claim to Comeback Player of Year honors after missing last season with a knee injury. With Randall Cobb inactive, Nelson played like he did so well before his injury catching two touchdowns and accounting for 154 of Rodgers’ 347 passing yards.

Nelson caught the first eight passes thrown his way and was instrumental in Green Bay going up early in this game on their quest for the playoffs. We have been seeing glimpses of this more and more week after week from Nelson, but this was his finest performance yet. Nelson should lead what is now a full complement of weapons for Rodgers, who was especially dangerous downfield.

While there was a big scare early in the second half when Rodgers took a scary hit, his calf injury is apparently improving as well, which he showed in full force late in the first half when Everson Griffin came off the edge untouched. Rodgers juked him and danced into the end zone for a rushing touchdown in an effortless manner. As he has been during this winning streak, Rodgers was once again far and away the best player on the field. Green Bay is red hot right now and is storming towards the postseason.

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The Packers qualify as “That team you don’t want to see in the playoffs”, although it should be noted that their defense looked very vulnerable against a Vikings’ offense that has struggled mightily. Rodgers may have played his best game of the season and is in total control…and that should terrify the rest of the NFL.