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Saturday, November 28, 2009
Calls and Effect: AFC East penalty tracker


Two penalty-related items caught my eye on Mike Reiss' blog at ESPNBoston.com.

Reiss noted the New England Patriots already had surpassed last season's total of accepted penalties, and quarterback Tom Brady had been cited for delay of game almost as many times in 2009 as his previous seven seasons combined.

I figured I would see how those numbers compare in a broader context.

The Patriots, who were the NFL's least-penalized team last year, aren't alone in already exceeding last year's penalty count.


Officials already have marched off 75 infractions against the Buffalo Bills. Their 71 accepted penalties last year were the NFL's second-fewest.

The New York Jets haven't been as disciplined under Rex Ryan as they were last year under Eric Mangini. Only five teams had fewer than their 77 accepted penalties last year. They have 61 accepted penalties this year, putting them on pace for 98.

The Miami Dolphins have been on the AFC East's best behavior with 51 accepted penalties, tying them for second-fewest in the league. But that puts them on pace for the same number of fouls as last year, when they finished 21st with 81.

As for delay-of-game calls, Brady has twice as many as all but five NFL quarterbacks and twice as many as the other AFC East quarterbacks put together.

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer leads the NFL with seven delay penalties for 34 yards. Brady is second with six for 30 yards.

Because fans always want to know how Brady compares with the other elite quarterbacks, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees have been charged with letting the play clock expire three times apiece.

New York Jets rookie Mark Sanchez (twice) and Miami Dolphins sophomore Chad Henne (once) represent the AFC East's other delay calls.

Buffalo Bills quarterbacks Ryan Fitzpatrick and Trent Edwards haven't been flagged once. I guess that no-huddle offense was good for something.