By Nick Shook | NFL.com
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Pro Bowl wide receiver Jordy Nelson spent the last week enjoying the sun and fanfare that comes with the annual convergence of the NFL’s top players.
He wishes his time in Arizona was just beginning.
Nelson’s Green Bay Packers will spend the week of Super Bowl XLIX back in Wisconsin, relaxing after the end of a season that saw them come one game shy of the game’s biggest stage. It was a crushing defeat, a game lost in the unlikeliest of ways, and it isn’t something Nelson has been quick to forget.
“Absolutely,” Nelson said Monday on NFL AM when asked if he felt the Packers let the win slip through their collective fingers. “This season we’ve been able to finish out games and we just didn’t maximize our opportunities.
“Seattle made the big plays when they needed to, but we definitely feel we let one get away, and you can’t let those opportunities get away because they don’t come very often.”
Green Bay held a five-point lead with 2:09 remaining before a sequence of events — or missed opportunities, as Nelson referred to them — resulted in Seattle grabbing a lead with less than 90 seconds to play. The Packers managed to tie the game and send it to overtime, where Russell Wilson connected with Jermaine Kearse for a 35-yard touchdown that sent Seattle to the Super Bowl.
The look of shock and heartbreak was easy to see on the faces of most Packers in the moments immediately after Kearse’s touchdown, but after taking a week to reflect, Nelson acknowledged early failed conversions deep in Seattle territory helped keep the Seahawks in the game. Taking advantage of such situations is part of Nelson’s game plan for success against Seattle.
“You just got to be patient, you gotta take what they give you,” Nelson told NFL Media’s Rhett Lewis and Eric Davis. “You can make some plays on them, but they’re not gonna be easy, they’re gonna keep you in front.”
“There’s a lot of guys back there in coverage and you just gotta make sure you maximize that opportunity and get touchdowns — that’s what hurt us, we kicked two field goals on the 1-yard line. So you gotta be able to pound that in and make sure you get that touchdown instead of three.”
Nelson will have a plane ride back to freezing Green Bay and seven additional months to consider what might have been.