- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Warning, Oakland Raiders fans, this is going to drive you crazy. And it’s not great news for the Chargers and Chiefs, either.
No other team in the NFL has seen their penalties go up since the return of the permanent officials than the Oakland Raiders.
All together, Raider Nation, “we knew it.”
Many Raiders fans wrote to me and said they thought Oakland's penalty totals would go up once the replacement officials were replaced after Week 3. And they were right.
Oakland averaged just five penalties in the first three games. It has averaged nine penalties since the lockout ended. Its change average is tied for the highest in the NFL. The Raiders set NFL records for penalties and penalty yardage last season.
Kansas City and San Diego are both averaging three more penalties a game with the permanent officials, which is tied for the fourth-highest average in the league. Denver is the only team in the division that is benefiting from the return of the permanent officials. Denver is averaging 2.7 fewer penalties a game since the lockout ended. It is the sixth-best average in the NFL. All four AFC West teams' byes have come since the lockout has ended.
What does it all mean? I’m not sure, but it is clear the permanent officials are much better at this job than their replacements and they know the rules much better. So they are much more accurate.
As for the team-by-team meaning of these results, well, I’ll leave that up to you. I’m sure you have your opinions. The floor is yours.
Thanks to NFC West blogger Mike Sando for coming up with the chart for this post.
2hEric D. Williams
6dEric D. Williams