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GREEN BAY - It was a season of improvement on offense and slippage on defense for the Green Bay Packers in 2016.

That was reflected in the final football totals in the 26th annual installment of the Journal Sentinel’s “Rating the Packers” weekly feature.

After a down year in 2015, the offensive line repeated its 2014 performance as the best of the Packers’ nine position areas.

Here are the football totals and 19-game averages for each of the position groups:

Offensive line: 66 (3.47)
Quarterbacks: 65 ½ (3.45)
Kickers: 59 (3.11)
Special teams: 57 ½ (3.03)
Receivers: 57 (3.00)
Running backs: 57 (3.00)
Linebackers: 52 ½ (2.76)
Defensive line: 52 (2.74)
Defensive backs: 47 (2.47)

Overall, the Packers totaled 59 footballs, or 3.11 per game. Last year, the overall total was 50 ½ footballs in 18 games, or 2.81 per game.

As a point of reference, the Packers totaled 73 footballs in 20 games (3.65) in 2010, their last championship season. In 1996, another Super Bowl-winning season, the Packers totaled 73 footballs in 19 games (3.84).

Just eighth a year ago with an average of 2.75 footballs, the offensive line averaged 3.47 this year to lead the position groups. The unit also finished first in 2014 with an average of 3.81.

The only other first-place finish for the offensive line was 2003 (3.89 average).

The offensive line never had a game with fewer than 2 footballs this season. During the eight-game winning streak, the unit had at least 4 footballs seven times.

The quarterbacks, who were third a year ago, improved to second place. In the 26 years of these ratings the quarterbacks have finished first 15 times.

All four position groups on offense showed improvement this season. The offensive line was plus-.72, the receivers (wide receivers and tight ends combined) were plus-.56, the quarterbacks were plus-.48 and the running backs were plus-.08.

Special teams showed a gain of plus-.25 whereas the kickers had the exact same average as a year ago.

On defense, slippage was evident at defensive back (minus-.59), defensive line (minus-.43) and linebacker (minus-.24).

The maximum total of five footballs were awarded six times, one more than last year. The quarterbacks – that is, Aaron Rodgers – earned five against Seattle and Minnesota. The kickers had five against Minnesota and at Dallas. The running backs were given five at Chicago and the defensive backs earned five against Seattle.

As an overall team, the Packers received five footballs for their 38-10 victory over Seattle. It was their first five-football game since the back-to-back triumphs over Chicago (55-14) and Philadelphia (53-20) in mid-2014.

Defensive tackle Mike Daniels and Rodgers shared the team lead in individual player of the game honors with three. Rodgers has either won or shared the top spot five times in his nine-year career as the starter. He was No. 1 a record seven times during the 17-game season of 2011.

Ranking the stars

Here are the 27 members of the Green Bay Packers who received mention among the three stars in the Journal Sentinel’s “Rating the Packers” weekly series this season. Being a No. 1 star was worth 3 points, a No. 2 star was worth 2 and a No. 3 star was worth 1.

Player, Position, No. 1-2-3 star, Total points

Aaron Rodgers, QB, 3-3-0, 15
Mike Daniels, DT, 3-0-0, 9
Davante Adams, WR, 2-0-2, 8
Ty Montgomery, RB-WR, 2-1-0, 8
Nick Perry, OLB, 1-2-1, 8
Randall Cobb, WR, 1-2-0, 7
LaDarius Gunter, CB, 1-2-0, 7
Jordy Nelson, WR, 1-2-0, 7
T.J. Lang, G, 1-1-0, 5
Julius Peppers, OLB, 0-2-1, 5
David Bakhtiari, T, 0-2-0, 4
Bryan Bulaga, T, 0-1-2, 4
Morgan Burnett, S, 0-1-2, 4
Mason Crosby, K, 1-0-0, 3
Trevor Davis, WR, 1-0-0, 3
Eddie Lacy, RB, 1-0-0, 3
Damarious Randall, CB, 1-0-0, 3
Jake Ryan, ILB, 0-0-2, 2
Geronimo Allison, WR, 0-0-1, 1
Don Barclay, T-G, 0-0-1, 1
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, 0-0-1, 1
Jared Cook, TE, 0-0-1, 1
Micah Hyde, CB-S, 0-0-1, 1
Corey Linsley, C, 0-0-1, 1
Clay Matthews, OLB, 0-0-1, 1
Lane Taylor, G, 0-0-1, 1
Joe Thomas, ILB, 0-0-1, 1

Rating the Packers week-by-week

(WEEK: Score: McGinn’s overall rating)

WEEK 1: Packers 27, Jaguars 23: 4 footballs

WEEK 2: Vikings 17, Packers 14: 3 footballs

WEEK 3: Packers 34, Lions 27: 3.5 footballs

WEEK 4: BYE

WEEK 5: Packers 23, Giants 16: 3 footballs

WEEK 6: Cowboys 30, Packers 16: 1.5 footballs

WEEK 7: Packers 26, Bears 10: 3 footballs

WEEK 8: Falcons 33, Packers 32: 3.5 footballs

WEEK 9: Colts 31, Packers 26: 1.5 footballs

WEEK 10: Titans 47, Packers 25: .5 football

WEEK 11: Redskins 42, Packers 24: 2 footballs

WEEK 12: Packers 27, Eagles 13: 4.5 footballs

WEEK 13: Packers 21, Texans 13: 4 footballs

WEEK 14: Packers 38, Seahawks 10: 5 footballs

WEEK 15: Packers 30, Bears 27: 3 footballs

WEEK 16: Packers 38, Vikings 25: 4 footballs

WEEK 17: Packers 31, Lions 24: 4 footballs

PLAYOFFS:

WILDCARD: Packers 38, Giants 13: 4 footballs

DIVISIONAL: Packers 34, Cowboys 31: 4.5 footballs

NFC CHAMPIONSHIP: Falcons 44, Packers 21: .5 football

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