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Examining the Panthers 2014 Penalty Report

Below is the Panthers 2014 Penalty Report from the NFL's Game Statistics and Information System (GSIS). It comes in three parts: penalties by game, penalties by type and penalties by player.

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Notice that our games with the highest number of penalties coincides with our losses. Imagine that! Yet in the end the Panthers practically broke even in penalty yards received vs given up (+4).

Team/Opponent Penalty Yard Differential by Game

Date Opponent Result Penalties Yards Nullified Yards 1st Downs Penalties Yards Nullified Yards 1st Downs Game Season
9/7 @ TB W 6 55 4 2 3 15 7 0 -40 -40
9/14 DET W 4 45 9 1 5 33 9 3 -12 -52
9/21 PIT L 7 105 14 3 11 91 14 3 -14 -66
9/28 @ BAL L 7 59 18 3 4 40 0 2 -19 -85
10/5 CHI W 3 30 13 1 10 79 13 2 49 -36
10/12 @ CIN T 8 60 30 3 13 119 69 5 59 23
10/19 @ GB L 9 70 13 3 5 29 0 3 -41 -18
10/26 SEA L 4 20 8 2 7 41 8 1 21 3
10/30 NO L 6 67 3 3 4 36 3 2 -31 -28
11/10 @ PHI L 4 30 5 0 5 50 0 1 20 -8
11/16 ATL L 1 15 0 1 5 58 0 2 43 35
11/30 @ MIN L 4 35 24 1 5 25 0 1 -10 25
12/7 @ NO W 6 55 5 0 4 30 5 2 -25 0
12/14 TB W 4 25 0 0 4 29 0 1 4 4
12/21 CLE W 5 49 34 1 6 49 34 3 0 4
12/28 @ ATL W 5 36 4 1 6 36 11 0 0 4
Totals: -- 7-8-1 100 766 144 25 97 760 173 31 -- 4

Note: Nullified yards are yards nullified by penalties on the offense or the punt or kickoff return team.

So not trying to take anything away from the teams that beat us like a drum, but the Panthers sandpapered their own ass with the penalties. Three of the Panthers four worst losses in 2014 (Steelers, Ravens and Packers) were impacted by penalties.

Team Penalty Count (League Rank in Parenthesis)

Penalty Count Declined Yards Nullified Yards 1st Downs Stalled Drive
False Start 19 (17) 0 96 (21) 0 0 7 (12)
Offensive Holding 16 (2) 3 130 (3) 32 0 3 (3)
Defensive Pass Interference 7 (17) 2 122 (16) 0 5 0 (1)
Defensive Offsides 7 (18) 3 20 (18) 0 0 0 (1)
Unnecessary Roughness 6 (9) 0 89 (15) 0 4 0 (1)
Illegal Use of Hands 5 (5) 0 40 (19) 31 2 1 (17)
Defensive Holding 5 (3) 2 15 (4) 0 3 0 (1)
Illegal Contact 5 (17) 3 10 (5) 0 2 0 (1)
Illegal Block Above the Waist 4 (12) 1 30 (12) 17 0 1 (25)
Roughing the Passer 3 (12) 0 45 (16) 0 3 0 (1)
Offensive Pass Interference 3 (5) 0 30 (14) 37 0 2 (13)
Neutral Zone Infraction 3 (8) 0 15 (9) 0 0 0 (1)
Face Mask (15 yards) 2 (5) 0 25 (9) 9 0 2 (28)
Disqualification 2 (8) 1 15 (7) 0 1 0 (1)
Defensive 12 Men on Field 2 (14) 0 10 (20) 0 2 0 (1)
Delay of Game 2 (3) 0 10 (3) 0 0 0 (1)
Encroachment 2 (10) 0 9 (12) 0 2 0 (1)
Illegal Shift 2 (10) 1 5 (3) 4 0 0 (1)
Taunting 1 (1) 0 15 (4) 0 1 0 (1)
Unsportsmanlike Conduct 1 (1) 0 15 (3) 0 0 0 (1)
Intentional Grounding 1 (1) 0 10 (2) 0 0 1 (2)
Illegal Wedge 1 (1) 0 5 (1) 10 0 0 (1)
Offensive 12 Men on Field 1 (1) 0 5 (1) 4 0 0 (1)
Totals: 100 16 766 144 25 17

No surprise here...the Panthers biggest weakness penalty-wise was the offensive line. False starts and offensive holding accounted for 35% of the penalties (35/100) and 10 of 17 stalled drives (59%).

Player Penalty Count

Player Count Declined Yards Nullified Yards First Downs Stalled Drive
Byron Bell 8 0 75 49 0 4
Josh Norman 8 2 65 1 3 0
Antoine Cason 7 1 90 0 6 0
Kelvin Benjamin 7 0 70 31 0 4
Thomas DeCoud 5 1 77 0 3 0
Greg Olsen 5 0 25 0 0 1
Charles Johnson 5 3 20 0 2 0
Brandon Williams 5 3 15 14 0 0
Luke Kuechly 4 1 30 0 1 0
Amini Silatolu 4 0 20 0 0 2
Trai Turner 3 0 20 0 0 0
Kony Ealy 3 0 15 0 1 0
Wes Horton 3 0 14 0 1 0
Ben Jacobs 2 0 20 0 0 0
Corey Brown 2 0 19 4 0 0
Mike Remmers 2 0 11 0 0 1
Thomas Davis 2 0 10 0 1 0
Cam Newton 2 0 10 0 0 0
Mike Tolbert 2 2 0 0 0 0
Melvin White 2 2 0 0 0 0
Dwan Edwards 1 0 15 0 11 0
Roman Harper 1 0 15 0 1 0
Kawann Short 1 0 15 0 0 0
Derek Anderson 1 0 10 0 0 1
Richie Brockel 1 0 10 5 0 1
Nate Chandler 1 0 10 3 0 0
Ed Dickson 1 0 10 13 0 0
James Dockery 1 0 10 5 0 0
Ryan Kalil 1 0 10 5 0 1
Kevin Reddick 1 0 10 14 0 0
Jonathan Stewart 1 0 10 0 0 1
Mario Addison 1 0 5 0 1 0
Jerricho Cotchery 1 0 5 0 0 1
Brian Folkerts 1 0 5 0 1 0
Charles Godfrey 1 0 5 0 0 0
Andrew Norwell 1 0 5 0 0 0
DeAndre Pressley 1 1 0 0 0 0

No shock Big Bell is at the top. He stalled four drives all by himself, which is why he is gone. Yet there is another offender guilty of the same number of stalls, the Talented Mr. Benjamin. I'm giving the rookie a pass since he got better at avoiding them as the season wore on. He only committed two penalties after week 6.

I also noticed that rookie LG Andre Norwell had only one (FS) penalty in 9 games started. That is a guy that came to the NFL ready to play! Vet C Ryan Kalil also had only a single penalty (holding) in 16 starts which is part of the reason he is a Pro Bowler.

I'm actually more worried about CB Josh Norman in 2015. He's a veteran player that is now our undisputed  #1 CB yet he is still prone to causing bone-headed penalties:

Week Penalty Declined Yards Nullified Yards First Downs Stalled Drive
1 Offensive Holding 0 10 1 0 0
5 Defensive Pass Interference 1 0 0 0 0
8 Defensive Holding 0 5 0 1 0
13 Taunting 0 15 0 1 0
14 Defensive Offsides 0 5 0 0 0
16 Unnecessary Roughness 0 15 0 1 0
17 Unsportsmanlike Conduct 0 15 0 0 0
17 Illegal Contact 1 0 0 0 0

Please note that Norman especially lost control of his emotions late in the season when his snap count went up, as well as the game pressure. Norman tends to incur the most costly penalties as well. Taunting penalties tend to chap my ass the most. I'm hopeful he dials that emotion down in 2015 and focuses more on making plays. I get that he's the kind of player that feeds off that emotion but he can still do it without the penalties.