That's just foul: Just like we thought, NFL penalties are on the rise

BY foxsports • November 2, 2014

This is not a good thing. 

On the surface, I suppose that's a pretty broad statement. I could be talking about anything ...  like the economy ... or what's going on between Russia and the Ukraine ... or even the rising price of chocolate. 

But I'll stick to what I know ... the NFL. And what I know is this:  As soon it was announced that the NFL competition committee had come up with multiple point of emphasis calls, especially in the passing game, I knew there was going to be an increase in the total number of fouls. Yeah, I know, not rocket science. 

Welcome to the numbers portion of my rant. Through the first eight weeks of the NFL season, here's where we stand this season vs. last. 

1.€” Overall: The average number of penalties last season was 14.1 and through 8 games this season, it's up to 16.7, an 18 percent increase if the trend continues for the second part of the season. 

2.€” Illegal contact: Up from 25 to 85, a whopping 240 percent increase.

€3. Illegal use of hands to the face: Up from 48 to 129, a 169 percent increase.

4.€” Defensive holding: Up from 109 to 181, a 66 percent increase.

5. Offensive pass interference: Up from 45 to 62, a 38 percent increase.

6.€” Offensive holding: This was not one of the point of emphasis changes, but there have been 390 calls through the first eight weeks. 

The four point of emphasis fouls that the league has focused on, account for 511 of the projected increase in the number of fouls called in 2014.

And when you look at the increases in the point of emphasis fouls, it's astronomical. It's bigger than the jump in illegal contacts back in 2003, when the NFL made illegal contact and defensive holding a point of emphasis that season. 

Now some might say an increase of 2 1/2 penalties per game is not that many. That projects out to be 663 by the end of the season. 

This is not a good thing. 

It has made the game choppy, because of the number of times the game had to be stopped to enforce penalties, either accepting or declining. 

Members of the committee had to know this would happen ... and maybe they got just what they wanted, which is a stricter enforcement of the penalties before a pass is thrown, both defensively and offensively, and a huge uptick in the number of illegal hands to the face penalties called.

I haven't seen an increase necessarily in offensive production, but we'll know more as we approach the end of the entire 17-week season. 

This is not a good thing -- whether you are talking the economy, Russia-Ukrane, rising chocolate prices ... or the rise in penalties in the NFL. 

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