Thursday, January 3, 2013
Penalty watch: 2012 in review
By Field Yates
In 2011, the Patriots were the fifth-least penalized team in the NFL with just 80 regular-season flags. That number jumped to 98 in 2012, an average of 6.13 per game.
That total was good for ninth-least in the NFL, a respectable figure and a sign of a disciplined group. In looking at the regular season totals, 39 of the flags thrown on the Patriots (including declined penalties) were pre-snap penalties (false starts, illegal formations, etc.) -- also a respectable total. Those are the kinds of penalties that coaches aim to avoid most specifically, as they can be tightened up with sound discipline and technique.
Another detail that sticks out from this list is that center Ryan Wendell, who played the most snaps in the NFL this season, logged just two penalties. That's yet another suggestion that his season has been stellar.
The full breakdown of the season (includes declined penalties):
Ryan Wendell played the most snaps in the NFL this season but committed only two penalties.