Analyzing Ravens' NFL-leading penalties

October, 25, 2012
10/25/12
10:00
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It was three years ago when Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said he was "certainly not happy" about the Ravens leading the NFL with 1,094 penalty yards. So he really must not be happy with his team's mistake-filled performances this season.

The Ravens are leading the NFL with 57 penalties and are on pace to set the franchise record with 1,131 penalty yards. Baltimore is averaging 8.1 penalties per game this season.

"You can coach against penalties, and we always want to do that,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "We’ve got to keep working in that direction.”

After Bisciotti pointed out the high number of flags for his team in 2009 (115 penalties), the Ravens reduced their penalties to 90 in 2010. Last season, Baltimore was flagged 92 times.

On their current pace, the Ravens would have 130 penalties this season, which would fall nine short of the team record that was set in 2005.

There have been 26 players penalized on the Ravens in addition to Harbaugh, who received an unsportsmanlike flag in the Patriots game. The most penalized player has been cornerback Jimmy Smith, who has been flagged for defensive holding (twice), illegal use of the hands, offsides and pass interference.

Baltimore has been flagged 12 times for false starts. The other most frequent penalties are: unnecessary roughness (six times), offensive holding (five), personal fouls (four) and defensive holding (four).

Here's the breakdown in penalties by player:

Five penalties: CB Jimmy Smith

Four penalties: SS Bernard Pollard, G Marshal Yanda, OT Kelechi Osemele

Three penalties: WR Torrey Smith, WR Anquan Boldin, CB Cary Williams, TE Dennis Pitta, OT Michael Oher

Two penalties: S Sean Considine, CB Lardarius Webb, FS Ed Reed, QB Joe Flacco (delays of game), LB Courtney Upshaw

One penalty: DE Pernell McPhee, RB Ray Rice, C Matt Birk, WR Jacoby Jones, DE Art Jones, LB Dannell Ellerbe, RB Anthony Allen, LB Paul Kruger, WR Deonte Thompson, LB Jameel McClain, CB Chykie Brown and S Christian Thompson.

Note: Harbaugh received one penalty and the team has received two (illegal substitution and illegal formation).

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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