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Seahawks’ penalty differential reaches historic heights

NFL: Washington Redskins at Seattle Seahawks
not another yellow thing
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

If you thought the Seattle Seahawks were accumulating penalties at a dangerously high, or unusually high, or historically high rate, you were... right?

As Sam Hawkbadger points out on Twitter, with a beautiful succintness:

The Oakland Raiders hold the all-time record for most flags suffered in a single season, with 163. The Seahawks are halfway to setting a new mark, as they sit atop the league with 82 penalties against. The teams in second, third and fourth place this year are all about 10 flags behind, at 73, 72, and 72 — and they all have played one more game than the Seahawks.

There is a two-penalty-per-game difference between the Seahawks and the second-most flagged team, the New York Jets. There is then another two-penalty-per-game difference between the Jets and the 28th-place team, the Minnesota Vikings.

The Seattle offense is responsible for 33 accepted penalties, the defense 35, and special teams 14.

In the last three games, the Seahawks have had to overcome penalty situations of 15-110, 10-120 and 16-138. Twice they did overcome, and pulled out a win. Once they couldn’t, as penalties were just one thing among many that went wrong vs. Washington in Week 9. But a big thing regardless.