Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Interference calls up, thanks to NFC West
By Mike Sando
Penalty flags are going to fly in the secondary when the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals get together.
Both teams have physical corners unafraid to push boundaries in coverage. Both teams incurred penalties for interference Sunday.
They weren't the only ones in Week 1. It's looking like the NFL's replacement officials might be on the lookout for defenders trying to gain an edge while regular officials are away.
Officials flagged NFL teams 29 time for defensive pass interference in Week 1, according to ESPN Stats & Information. That's up from 25 over the previous two opening weeks combined.
Seven of the 29 calls came against Arizona, Seattle and San Francisco, however, so the calls weren't necessarily distributed evenly across the various officiating crews.
The total included two such penalties against Arizona's Patrick Peterson, two against Seattle's Richard Sherman and one against the Cardinals' William Gay. The Seahawks' Brandon Browner, who led the NFL in penalties with 19 last season, drew a flag only for holding on special teams.
Defenders will presumably adjust if officials continue calling defensive pass interference so frequently.
There were four such calls during San Francisco's game against Green Bay, including one against cornerback Carlos Rogers and another against safety Dashon Goldson. There were no penalties for defensive pass interference in St. Louis' game at Detroit.