Following is a statistical wrapup of the Green Bay Packers’ season as recorded by the Journal Sentinel’s Bob McGinn. All individual statistics were recorded by McGinn except for total tackles and passes defensed.
TAKE AND PROTECT
The Packers finished the regular season tied for 11th in takeaways with 25. Their 17 interceptions tied for fourth.
In the first three seasons under defensive coordinator Dom Capers, the Packers ranked first in takeaways with 40, sixth with 32 and tied for first with 38. From 2012-’15, they ranked tied for 18th with 23, tied for 21st with 22, tied for eighth with 27 and tied for 20th with 22.
Meanwhile, the Packers tied for eighth in fewest giveaways with 17. Coach Mike McCarthy’s teams have ranked in the top 10 nine times in 11 seasons.
In all, the Packers ranked sixth in turnover differential at plus-8.
McCarthy’s teams are plus-100 in turnover differential in 176 regular-season games and plus-6 in 18 playoff games.
The Packers didn’t keep track of forced fumbles in 1987. Thus, statistics for turnover-producing plays (interceptions, recovered fumbles, forced fumbles) begin in 1988.
This year, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix led the team with six in 19 games after sharing the top spot with three teammates a year ago. They had four.
Following Clinton-Dix were Micah Hyde and Damarious Randall, four; Morgan Burnett, Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers, three; Kenny Clark, LaDarius Gunter and Joe Thomas, two; and Kentrell Brice, Mike Daniels, Kyler Fackrell, Blake Martinez, Nick Perry, Christian Ringo and Quinten Rollins, one.
Among players without a turnover-producing play were Letroy Guion, Datone Jones and Jake Ryan.
Of the 13 dropped interceptions, Burnett and Gunter each had two.
Green Bay’s takeaways set up 88 points, including 58 off interceptions and 30 off fumbles. Under McCarthy, the Packers’ takeaways set up 91 points in 2006, 106 in ’07, 124 in ’08, 134 in ’09, 159 in ’10, 119 in ’11, 60 in ’12, 64 in ’13, 123 in ’14 and 55 in ’15.
Counting playoffs, the Packers fumbled 22 times and lost 10. Those 10 lost fumbles led to 28 points for the opposition.
Aaron Rodgers led in fumbles (eight) and in fumbles lost (four). Other players to fumble more than once, all with two, were Davante Adams (one lost), Trevor Davis (one lost) and Ty Montgomery (one lost). Those with one fumble were Randall Cobb, Jared Cook, Brett Hundley, Micah Hyde, Jordy Nelson, Aaron Ripkowski, James Starks and Joe Thomas.
Among those without a fumble were Geronimo Allison, Eddie Lacy and Richard Rodgers.
The special teams fumbled four times, all on punt returns. The only fumble by an opponent on special teams was by the Colts’ Chester Rogers on a punt that went out of bounds.
McCarthy’s special teams have been coached by Mike Stock, Shawn Slocum and Ron Zook. They have a minus-2 turnover differential in 11 seasons.
After having more trouble with penalties from 2007-’09 than any other team in the NFL, the Packers have fared much better in the last seven years.
This year, the Packers had 100 penalties (only penalties that were accepted were counted) in the regular season, which tied for ninth-fewest. They were tied for third in 2010 (78), tied for first in ’11 (76), tied for 19th in ’12 (103), eighth in ’13 (86), seventh in ’14 (92) and tied for 14th in ’15 (105). The Packers ranked fifth this year in fewest penalty yards (827).
The offense drew 44 penalties in 19 games, down from 58 in 18 games a year ago. The defense drew 46 penalties, an increase of 11 from last year, and the special teams drew 20, a reduction of three from last year.
The individual leaders in penalties were Aaron Rodgers, Mike Daniels and Datone Jones, each with seven. Rodgers tied his career high from 2010 and ’08. Daniels had nine in his first four seasons. Jones had three from 2013-’15.
The offensive line had 27 penalties, five fewer than last season. David Bakhtiari, Lane Taylor and Bryan Bulaga each had five; for Bakhtiari, it was a career low after averaging 9.3 in his first three years. Don Barclay drew four penalties, T.J. Lang had three, JC Tretter and Jason Spriggs each had two and Corey Linsley had one.
Elsewhere on offense, the penalty totals were Davante Adams, four; Jeff Janis and Jared Cook, two; and Richard Rodgers, one. No individual fault was charged on one penalty.
Among the players on offense without a penalty were Jordy Nelson (he has just five in his career), Randall Cobb (he has six in his career), Geronimo Allison and all of the running backs. Eddie Lacy hasn’t been penalized in his four-year career. James Starks had one penalty in seven years.
Elsewhere on defense, the penalty totals were Letroy Guion, five; Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, four; Morgan Burnett, three; Clay Matthews, Nick Perry, Julius Peppers and Damarious Randall, two; and Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry, Jake Ryan, Kyler Fackrell, Micah Hyde, Demetri Goodson and Kentrell Brice, one.
Among the players on defense without a penalty were Mike Pennel, Joe Thomas, Blake Martinez, Jayrone Elliott and Quinten Rollins.
Josh Hawkins and Brice each had four penalties on special teams. Others with more than one were Marwin Evans, Janis and Montgomery, each with two.
STOPPING BIG PLAYS
Under Dom Capers, the priority on defense always will be shutting down big plays. The Packers failed in this area.
The Packers allowed a total of 77 plays of 20 yards or more. Their average of 4.05 per game was the third-highest since 2004. The only higher averages were 5.00 in 2011 and 4.82 in 2013.
The breakdown was 68 passes and nine runs. The 68 passes were the most against Green Bay since 2011 (74).
Here’s the breakdown of responsibility for the 68 passes of 20 yards or more: LaDarius Gunter, 11½; Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins, eight; Micah Hyde, 7½; Joe Thomas, 3½; Morgan Burnett, three; Demetri Goodson, 2½; Josh Hawkins, Kentrell Brice, Jake Ryan and Blake Martinez, two; Clay Matthews, Nick Perry and Carl Bradford, one; Julius Peppers and Kyler Fackrell, one-half. No fault could be assigned to four.
The responsibility for the nine runs of 20 yards or more fell like this: Mike Daniels, two; Randall, Burnett, Thomas and Bradford, one; and Goodson, Martinez, Peppers and Bradford, one-half. There was no fault on one run.
Of the 40 touchdown passes allowed, here’s the breakdown of responsibility: Randall, 8½; Gunter, eight; Rollins, 5½; Hyde, 4½; Clinton-Dix and Burnett, three; Goodson, Hawkins, Brice, Thomas and Kenny Clark, one; and Peppers, one-half. No fault was assigned to two.
Of the 40 TD passes, 25% came on blitzes by Capers. The number of rushers on the 40 passes were four with three, 26 with four, eight with five and two with six.
Among defenders not responsible for a TD pass were Ryan, Martinez, Matthews, Perry, Fackler, Jayrone Elliott and Datone Jones.
Responsibility wasn’t divided beyond 50-50 on any play.
The Packers allowed 21 completions of more than 35 yards, three fewer than last year but still the third-highest total under coach Mike McCarthy. The total of 24 in 2015 was the most since the Journal Sentinel first began recording the statistic in 1995. The fewest allowed in that span were the six by the Super Bowl-winning team of 1996.
Randall led cornerbacks in passes broken up per snap (totals were provided by the Packers’ coaches) with one every 58.2. Rollins paced the position a year ago with one every 35.7. Randall was followed by Gunter, one every 62.5; Rollins, one every 65.7; Hyde, one every 76.5, and Goodson, one every 91.
Burnett led the safeties with one breakup every 78.7 snaps. He was followed by Clinton-Dix, one every 95.3, and Brice, one every 113.
MAKING THAT TACKLE
Through the first eight games the Packers were playing across the line of scrimmage at a record-setting pace. They had 33 tackles for loss, an average of 4.13 per game. Over the last 11 games, however, their average drooped to 2.09 on just 23 tackles for loss.
For the season, the Packers totaled 56 tackles for loss in 19 games. Under coach Mike McCarthy they’ve averaged 46.5 in 11 seasons.
The linebackers led the way with 28, three fewer than a year ago. Jake Ryan led with seven, followed by Nick Perry (5½), Jayrone Elliott (four), Blake Martinez (3½), Joe Thomas (2 ½), Clay Matthews (two), Julius Peppers (two) and Datone Jones (1½).
It marked a career low for Matthews, who had 7½ three times in his first seven seasons and averaged 6.3. Perry established a career high.
The defensive line came through with 19, three fewer than a year ago. Letroy Guion led with 7½, five more than in 2015. He was followed by Mike Daniels, 4½; Kenny Clark, 2½; Dean Lowry, two; Mike Pennel, 1½, and Christian Ringo, one.
In the secondary, which had eight, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix led with three. He was followed by Micah Hyde, two, and LaDarius Gunter, Morgan Burnett and Quinten Rollins, one.
One tackle for loss was credited to the team, not an individual.
Among players without a tackle for loss were Damarious Randall and Kyler Fackrell.
Based on 19-game totals provided by the Packers from coaches’ tape evaluations, Burnett led in total tackles with 108. Rounding out the top 10 were Clinton-Dix (101), Ryan (100), Thomas (90), Hyde (74), Gunter (71), Martinez (67), Perry (67), Daniels (57) and Guion (57).
Guion led the D-line in tackles per snap with one every 9.3, followed by Clark (one every 9.9), Lowry (one every 13.3) and Daniels (one every 14.1).
Ryan led the inside linebackers in tackles per snap with one every 6.9, followed by Martinez (one every 7.2) and Thomas (one every 9.1).
Among outside linebackers, Elliott led in tackles per snap with one every 10.4, followed by Perry (one every 10.5), Fackrell (one every 17.6), Peppers (one every 19), Jones (one every 19.2) and Matthews (one every 22.8).
At cornerback, Demetri Goodson led in tackles per snap with one every 13, followed by Hyde (one every 13.4), Randall (one every 14.2), Gunter (one every 15) and Rollins (one every 17.2).
Burnett led the safeties with one tackle every 10.2 snaps, followed by Clinton-Dix (one every 12.3) and Kentrell Brice (one every 17).
The Packers tackled better than they have since 2012, at least based on number of missed tackles by the defense. They missed 103, 30 fewer than last year and 42 fewer than 2014. Under McCarthy, their low was 100 in 2006, ’08 and ’12.
The leader in missed tackles was Thomas with 13. He was followed by Gunter, 10; Randall, nine; Burnett, eight; Martinez, seven; Ryan and Rollins, six; Daniels, Matthews, Peppers and Hyde, five; Perry, four; Clark, Clinton-Dix and Brice, three; Guion, Goodson and Josh Hawkins, two, and Pennel, Jones, Fackrell, Elliott and Marwin Evans, one.
Among those that didn’t miss a tackle were Lowry and Ringo.
The special teams missed 24 tackles, the same number as last year. Elliott led in misses with three and in made tackles with 14. Evans and Brice each made 11, Fackrell had 10 and Jeff Janis was fifth with nine.
THE HEAT IS ON
In 2010, the Packers’ last championship season, they totaled 240 pressures, which are defined here as the total of sacks, knockdowns and hurries. Since then, their totals have been 184 in 2011, 202 in ’12, 171 in ’13, 218 in ’14, 210 in ’15 and 213 this season.
Nick Perry led the team in the vital category of pressures with 36. Rounding out the top five were Julius Peppers, 32½; Mike Daniels and Datone Jones, 31½, and Clay Matthews, 28½.
Then there was a big drop-off to Dean Lowry, 8½; Micah Hyde, eight; Kenny Clark and Kyler Fackrell, 6½; Morgan Burnett, 5½; Joe Thomas, five; Jake Ryan, four; Jayrone Elliott, three; Blake Martinez, two; Letroy Guion, Mike Pennel and Kentrell Brice, one, and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Quinten Rollins, one-half.
Among those without a pressure were Christian Ringo, LaDarius Gunter and Damarious Randall.
The sack totals were Perry (12), Peppers (8½), Matthews (six), Daniels (four), Burnett (three), Lowry (two), Fackrell (two), Hyde (two), Jones (one), Martinez (one), Elliott (one) and Clinton-Dix (one-half).
The Packers had 60 knockdowns (sacks not included), five more than last season. Jones led with 14, followed by Matthews (eight), Peppers (7½), Daniels (seven) and Perry (six).
The leaders in hurries were Daniels (20½), Perry (18), Jones (16½), Peppers (16½) and Matthews (14½).
As a unit, the defensive line had 48½ pressures, 20 fewer than a year ago. The linebackers registered 149, 22 more than a year ago, and the defensive backs totaled 15½, about the same as last year.
Coordinator Dom Capers blitzed five or more on 27.3% of passes, which was far less than 36.3% in 2015. It was a low for Capers since his first season in Green Bay, which was 2009 (27%). His biggest blitz year was 42.2% in 2011.
Capers rushed six or more on 4.5% of dropbacks, down from 7.3% last year.
When the pressure contained five or more people, Capers blitzed inside linebackers 120 times, safeties 86 times and cornerbacks 66 times.
The most effective rusher from the secondary (minimum 10 blitzes) was Hyde, who had one pressure every 4.9 snaps, followed by Clinton-Dix (one every 6.8), Burnett (one every 7.6) and Rollins (one every 42).
At inside linebacker, Martinez had one pressure every nine snaps followed by Ryan (one every 10) and Thomas (one every 11).
Gunter and Randall combined for just five blitzes.
The Packers batted down 20 passes, the highest total since the Journal Sentinel first recorded the statistic in 1999. Their eight-year average under Capers is 14.
Peppers led with five; he also had five in 2014 but didn’t have any last year.
He was followed by Perry, three; Clark, Matthews, Jones and Thomas, two; and Guion, Lowry, Pennel and Rollins, one.
Among the players without any were Daniels, Ryan, Martinez, Fackrell and Elliott.
When Johnny Jolly posted 11 bats in 2009, the club announced it as a club record.
MAKE THAT CATCH
During the 11-year administration of coach Mike McCarthy the most sure-handed catch season was 2013, when the team dropped merely 26 passes in 17 games.
This season was similar to recent seasons as the Packers dropped 41 passes in 19 games. They had 44 drops in 18 games last year and 40 in 18 in 2014.
The wide receivers dropped 24 passes in 466 targets, the tight ends dropped 10 in 133 and the running backs (Ty Montgomery was included here) dropped seven in 131.
The best hands belonged to Randall Cobb, who had just two drops in 105 targets for a team-best drop rate of 1.9%.
Elsewhere at wide receiver, Geronimo Allison dropped one of 29 (3.5%), Jordy Nelson dropped nine of 160 (5.6%) and Davante Adams dropped nine of 145 (6.2%).
Nelson dropped one of 53 as a rookie, three of 30 in 2009, 10 of 92 in ’10, five of 100 in ’11, six of 84 in ’12, three of 134 in ’13 and nine of 163 in ’14.
Cobb dropped two of 34 as a rookie, 10 of 110 in ’12, none of 46 in ’13, nine of 145 in ’14 and 14 of 138 in ’15. His 14 drops last season were the most by a Packer since Jermichael Finley dropped 13 in 2011.
Adams dropped four of 79 in 2014 and 12 of 96 last season.
Jeff Janis dropped one of 16, Trevor Davis dropped two of six and Jared Abbrederis dropped none of two.
At tight end, Jared Cook dropped five of 81 (6.2%) and Richard Rodgers dropped five of 47 (10.6%). Rodgers dropped two of 34 in 2014 and four of 96 last year. Justin Perillo didn’t have a drop in five targets.
At running back, Montgomery dropped two of 65 (3.1%). James Starks dropped two of 24 (8.3%), Aaron Ripkowski dropped one of 15, Eddie Lacy dropped one of six, Christine Michael dropped one of four and Knile Davis didn’t drop either of his two targets.
Meanwhile, here were the 19-game average-per-catch totals for the most-used wide receivers and tight ends: Allison, 15.71 yards; Adams, 13.34; Nelson, 12.86; Cook, 12.63; Cobb, 11.15, and Rodgers, 9.84.
In terms of average gain after the catch, here were the totals: Cobb, 5.05 yards; Adams, 4.81; Allison, 4.06; Cook, 3.77; Nelson, 3.58, and Rodgers, 3.13.
Nelson’s average gains after the catch were 2.58 in 2008, 3.78 in ’09, 4.68 in ’10, 5.83 in ’11, 4.63 in ’12, 4.78 in ’13 and 4.97 in ’14.
Cobb’s averages were 7.11 as a rookie, 4.97 in ’12, 5.61 in ’13, 5.98 in ’14 and 5.20 in ’15.
Adams averaged 5.41 after the catch as a rookie and just 3.02 last year.
Rodgers averaged 1.88 after the catch as a rookie and 3.62 last year.
Of the Packers’ No. 1 wide receivers since 1992, the best single-season average after the catch was Antonio Freeman’s 7.3 in 1998.
THE RODGERS FILE
Aaron Rodgers finished with a 19-game passer rating of 104.1, his sixth-best mark in nine years as a starter. His ratings were 93.8 in 2008, 104.5 in ’09, 103.1 in ’10, 118.8 in ’11, 106.8 in ’12, 104.3 in ’13, 109.7 in ’14 and 91.8 last year.
He established career highs in pass attempts (738), completions (481), passing yards (5,432) and touchdowns (49). His completion mark of 65.2% tied for fifth among his nine starting seasons and his average per pass of 7.36 ranked eighth.
Rodgers was intercepted nine times, including twice in the playoffs. His regular-season total of seven enabled him to rank fifth in percentage of passes intercepted. The nine interceptions tied for fifth fewest in his career.
As a starter, Rodgers has had just one interception returned for a touchdown. That was in 2009 by Tampa Bay safety Tanard Jackson (35 yards). In Brett Favre’s last 11 seasons as the starter in Green Bay, he had 21 picks returned for TDs.
The average distance of Rodgers’ 49 TD passes was 12.6 yards, the lowest of his career. He averaged 15.6 as a rookie, 24.0 in ’09, 23.0 in ’10 and ’11, 17.2 in ’12, 18.8 in ’13, 21.6 in ’14 and 17.4 in ’15.
The Packers struck for 19 completions of more than 35 yards, three more than last year. Under coach Mike McCarthy, the team’s best season was 29 in 2007.
Davante Adams led in receptions for more than 35 yards with six. James Jones led in 2015 with seven. The single-season best under McCarthy was Jordy Nelson’s 10 in 2011.
In all, the Packers had 89 gains of 20 yards or more. That was 19 more than last year and a record since the Journal Sentinel began keeping the statistic in 1995. The previous mark was 83 in 2010. Of the 89 plays, 15 were rushes. That’s the highest number of 20-plus runs since the 2007 team had 19.
Adams led with 21 gains for 20 yards or more after he posted seven in each of his first two seasons. Nelson was next with 20, not far beneath his career best of 22 in 2013. Rounding out the top 10 were Randall Cobb, 12; Jared Cook, nine; Ty Montgomery, seven; Geronimo Allison, Eddie Lacy and Aaron Rodgers, four; Richard Rodgers, three, and Aaron Ripkowski, two.
Last year, the traditional screen game was so potent that running backs caught 12 passes for 20 yards or more, including six apiece for James Starks and Lacy. This season, running backs combined for just three.
The average release time of Rodgers’ nine interceptions was 3.94 seconds, a career high. It reflected the inordinate amount of time he received almost all season.
Adams was the intended receiver on five of the nine picks. All nine came from shotgun formation, six came with the Packers behind, seven were on third down, two came against blitzes, four came in enemy territory and 6½ were judged to be the fault of Rodgers.
Opponents blitzed (five or more rushers) the Packers on 23.7% of passes, a sharp decrease from 29.1% last year but in line with the blitz rates from 2011-’14.
The heaviest blitz rate (50%) came from the Lions and defensive coordinator Teryl Austin in Game 3. The lightest blitz rate (10.2%) came from the Giants and defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo in Game 4.
Opponents rushed six or more on 3.8% of passes, well below 7.1% last year. The 3.8% “all-out” blitz rate was the lowest against Green Bay since the Journal Sentinel began recording it in 1998.
MEASURING THE O-LINE
In 2014, the offensive line had only one game missed by a starter (Bryan Bulaga) in 18 games. That unit was charged with just 16½ sacks, the Packers’ lowest total since 2007 (12 sacks in 18 games). It also allowed 106 pressures (defined as the combination of sacks, knockdowns and hurries), its lowest total since 96½ in 16 games in 2006.
In 2015, starters on the unit sat out a total of 11 games, and a group hailed by Mike McCarthy as the deepest and best he had ever coached allowed 34 sacks and 147 pressures.
This season, the Packers had two starters miss a total of 10 starts in 19 games (Corey Linsley, seven, and T.J. Lang, three). One year later, McCarthy also called this his best O-line.
The unit was charged with 21½ of the 45 sacks. It was the fourth-lowest total in McCarthy’s 11 seasons, trailing 2007 (12), 2006 (12½) and 2014.
Among the linemen, David Bakhtiari was charged with the most sacks (4½). His playing time was 97.4% (1,260 of a possible 1,294 snaps).
Bakhtiari was followed by JC Tretter (four in 37.7%), Bulaga (three in 97.3%), Lang (2½ in 74.6%), Don Barclay (2½ in 15.2%), Lane Taylor (two in 96%), Jason Spriggs (two in 21.4%) and Linsley (one in 62.2%).
The team leader in sacks allowed was Aaron Rodgers, who was charged with 16½. It tied his career high of 2009.
Also, Ty Montgomery allowed three sacks and three players – Jared Cook, Eddie Lacy and Aaron Ripkowski – each allowed one. One sack involved no individual fault.
In the regular season, the Packers ranked 13th in percentage of sacks allowed. Under McCarthy, they’ve ranked third in both 2006 and ’07, 18th in ’08, 29th in ’09, 20th in ’10, 22nd in ’11, 28th in ’12, 21st in ’13, 14th in ’14 and 24th in ’15.
When the Packers won the Super Bowl in 1996, they ranked 18th. From 1997-2005, they never ranked worse than 10th.
Bulaga allowed the most pressures with 33. His career high was 33½ during his rookie season of 2010.
Following, in order, were Aaron Rodgers (30½), Taylor (28½), Bakhtiari (19), Spriggs (14), Lang (13), Tretter (10), Linsley (9½), Barclay (six), Montgomery (5½), Richard Rodgers (5½), Cook (2½), Ripkowski (two), James Starks (two) and Lacy (one). Twenty-four pressures were judged to have no individual fault.
In all, the Packers allowed 206 pressures. The total compared to 217 in 2015, 153 in ’14 and 185 in ’13.
Meanwhile, the Packers gave up 116 “bad” runs, a 26.8% rate. A “bad” run is defined as a rush for 1 yard or less excluding kneel-downs and successful goal-line and short-yardage carries.
Giving up the most “bad” runs was Taylor with 13. He was followed among the linemen by Lang (11), Bulaga (10), Bakhtiari (nine), Linsley (8½), Tretter (8½), Spriggs (7½) and Letroy Guion (one-half). Barclay didn’t allow any after giving up 12½ last year.
Of the 13½ “bad” runs charged to tight ends, Richard Rodgers had 10½, Cook had 2½ and Justin Perillo had one-half.
Among players at other positions were Starks (a career-high 6½), Christine Michael (five), Aaron Rodgers (five), Ripkowski (3½), Lacy (2½), Jordy Nelson (one), Knile Davis (one), Davante Adams (one-half) and Jeff Janis (one-half). Montgomery wasn’t charged with any.
No player fault was assigned to nine.
On running plays in which a lineman was regarded as the primary puller, the leader was Lang with 12 carries for 175 yards. Others were Taylor (18-89), Linsley (3-32), Spriggs (2-12), Barclay (4-11), Tretter (1-1) and Bakhtiari (2- minus-7). Bulaga didn’t pull.