You’re Seeing 15% More Penalty Flags This Year and the Refs are Proud of It
The NFL's emphasis on defensive-backfield penalties has contributed to an average of more than two extra flags every game this season, a 15 percent rise from 2013. And the man in charge of officiating is OK with that.
Most of the increase comes thanks to passing-game rules the competition committee decided to emphasize or reword. According to STATS, illegal contact, defensive holding, defensive illegal use of hands, and offensive pass interference are all at Week 5 highs for the last 20 years. There already have been more illegal contact calls than for all of last season.
NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino tells the AP on Thursday that "we're in a good place" and "if we pull back now, then we aren't being consistent."