Monday, October 22, 2012

Penalties: A snapshot

Sunday night's special teams flag fest got us to wondering just where the 2012 Steelers rank in terms of penalties as compared to its recent predecessor.  So, going back to 2000 here are some of the fun facts we uncovered:
  • The 2012 Steelers have been called for 20 offensive holding penalties -- the league includes holding on punt returns in this category -- through their first six games.  The record for most offensive holding penalties in a season, between 2000-2012, is 37 in 2010.  Incredibly, in 2006 the team had NINE the entire season. 
  •  Of those 20 offensive holding penalties this season, one offensive lineman -- Willie Colon -- is responsible for six.  Marcus Gilbert is the only other offensive lineman flagged for holding so far this season.
  • The highest number of penalties called against an individual player in a single season (2000-2012) is 12 against Chad Scott (a player who Steelers fans loved to hate).  From 2000-2002 Mr. Scott led the team each season for most penalties committed; his reign was broken in 2003 when Plaxico Burress took the crown -- the only season since 2000 that an offensive lineman or defensive back did not lead the team in penalties committed.
  • From 2000-2004 the aforementioned Mr. Scott committed 41 penalties, an average of 8.2 penalties per season.  By comparison, in the previous nine season Ike Taylor committed 48, an average of 5.3 per game.
  • Ike Taylor's worst season for penalties was 2011, when he was flagged for nine the entire season.  By way of comparison, through six games of the 2012 season he has been called for eight penalties.
  • So far in the 2012 season the Steelers have been called for 53 penalties (8.83 per game average) while opponents have been called for 28 (4.67 per game average).
  • The Steelers have been called for more penalties than the opponents in eight of the previous 12 seasons.  The only exceptions are 2000 (102/105), 2005 (115/120), 2006 (85/104), and 2009 (101/102).

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