FanPost

Are NFL Penalties Intentional?

There certainly have been a lot of changes in the rules that affect penalties, and with all of the talk this year it sounds like there could be more. What I'm curious about is what appears to be a trend, so I came here to bounce it off of you all.

NFL RANK – SB TEAMS – TOTAL PENALTIES (#1= Most penalties)

YEAR

NFL RNK

WINNER

NFL RNK

LOSER

2014

#1 (152)

Seattle Seahawks

#4 (132)

Denver Broncos

2013

#2 (145)

Baltimore Ravens

#7 (126)

San Fran 49ers

2012

#6 (117)

New York Giants

#25 (95)

N England Patriots

2011

#16 (99)

Green Bay Packers

#15 (119)

Pittsburgh Steelers

2010

#10 (107)

New Orleans Saints

#28 (84)

Indianapolis Colts

2009

#12 (95)

Pittsburgh Steelers

#5 (107)

Arizona Cardinals

2008

#27 (77)

New York Giants

#26 (78)

N England Patriots

2007

#26 (86)

Indianapolis Colts

#5 (112)

Chicago Bears

2006

#25 (99)

Pittsburgh Steelers

#30 (94)

Seattle Seahawks

2005

#27 (101)

N England Patriots

#4 (124)

Philadelphia Eagles

2004

#10 (111)

N England Patriots

#9 (116)

Carolina Panthers

2003

#18 (103)

Tampa Bay Buccs

#3 (129)

Oakland Raiders

2002

#17 (92)

N England Patriots

#6 (107)

St. Louis Rams

2001

#20 (95)

Baltimore Ravens

#22 (91)

New York Giants

2000

#10 (113)

St. Louis Rams

#11 (114)

Tennessee Titans

1999

#15 (115)

Denver Broncos

#14 (116)

Atlanta Falcons

1998

#5 (116)

Denver Broncos

#24 (93)

Green Bay Packers

In the table above, the five years from 2010 - 2014 included what may be a first in the history of Super Bowls. For back to back years, the #1 & #2 most penalized teams during the regular season won the SB, and the two losers ranked #4 & #7.

Nowhere in my lousy memory could I recall that situation being mentioned, so I had to go back and check. By the time I reached 1998, I figured that I'd seen enough.

During the last 5 years, all five super bowl winners were in the top half of the NFL for most penalties committed, 4 were in the top ten and two were #1 & #2. Is this a cycle or a trend.

In looking back over these 17 years, the rule changes shouldn't affect the comparison much, since we are comparing total penalties called, but the ranks of the super bowl winners and losers have changed dramatically.

During the previous five years, (2005 - 09) the average number of penalties committed by SB winning teams was 91.6 (Rank Avg 23.4) vs. the last 5 years averaging 124 penalties with and average rank of 6.8 worst in the league.

That's more than 30 penalties a year worse than the teams of the previous five years. Aren't penalties supposed to be game killers, and yet lately it's been the teams that commit the most who are making it to the big dance!

Even the 5 teams who lost the SB during the last five years averaged 20 more penalties called (111.2) then the five winners of the 2005-09 Super Bowls. It raised some questions in my mind.

1) Whatever became of the concept that penalties equate to losses? Has that changed somehow? The four teams in the last two super bowls were the bottom feeders of the NFL when it came to creating penalties, and yet they made the big dance.

2) Are teams getting better at teaching players how to cheat? If players are becoming more sophisticated in their ability get away with penalties, then teams like Seattle last year, and Baltimore the year before should give us some clues somewhere it seems.

Average Rank/Penalties Compared:

Average Rank

Total Penalties

Group

06.8 124 SB winners 2010-14
23.4 091 SB winners 2005-09
12.6 111 SB losers 2010-14
14.0 103 SB losers 2005-09


This shows how dominant SB teams with high penalty totals have been during the past ten years. 75% of the 20 teams who made the big dance were in the top half of the league, and the worst of the bunch (on average) have won for the last 5 years.

When just 25% of the last twenty teams to play in the Super Bowl are ranked in the lower half of the league for penalties committed, then that makes me think that this is a modern day trend. What do you think is causing it?

My suspicion is that teams began to teach DB's to hold without getting caught as much, thus increasing their ability to make it tough on receivers. It stands to reason that the defensive holding penalties called would be on the rise if that's the case.

I took the last four SB Contestants and here's what I found.

Defensive Holding Penalties Rising

Team / Season>

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Seattle Seahawks 3 2 5 7 11
Denver Broncos 2 2 5 7 9
Baltimore Ravens 1 4 5 5 4
San Fran 49ers 7 2 2 9 6

I find it difficult to believe that this is a coincidence. So let's take a look at Pass Interferance penalties since they go hand in hand.


Defensive Pass Interference Penalties Rising

Team / Season>

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Seattle Seahawks

8

4

8

5

15

Denver Broncos

6

7

7

7

11

Baltimore Ravens

16

5

7

9

5

San Fran 49ers

5

4

6

7

6

The Seahawks lead the league in the category last year & the Ravens lead in 2009. San Fran stayed fairly consistent, as did Denver until last year. Am I the only one, or does anyone else think that teaching DB's to push the limits is becoming the standard of excellence in the NFL?

One last example may make the case.


League Totals

Penalty / Season>

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Defensive Holding

109

115

129

153

181

Def. Pass Interferance

190

207

210

253

247

About a 65% increase in the defensive holding penalties in just the last five years seems to indicate a plan in motion, but that could just be my pessimism on the rise. What do you think?

This is a Fan-Created Comment on MileHighReport.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Mile High Report

You must be a member of Mile High Report to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mile High Report. You should read them.

Join Mile High Report

You must be a member of Mile High Report to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mile High Report. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker