Packers Penalty Palooza – Where Do They Go From Here?
In 2007, the Green Bay Packers were 4th in the NFL in penalties. In 2008, they moved up to 2nd, and in 2009, the Packers claimed the top spot in the entire NFL. (BTW, for a more detailed look at the Packers penalty history with Mike McCarthy, take a look at this article written in June.)
With their recent domination of the NFL penalty stats, are there more hills to climb? What could the Packers do to solidify their legacy of penalty prowess. Wait, I’ve got it! They can set new Packers all-time records.
Well, one down already:
Most penalties in a single game - (18) in franchise history. What a great bullet point on your coaching resume. The record was previously held by the 1945 Packers. Looking at the roster for that team, about the only recognizable names are Ted Fritsch and Don Hutson (this was Hutson’s last season and he was strictly a kicker that year). With the roster depleted by WWII, this was surely some ugly football being played in the NFL. And now the 2010 Packers can say they were just as ugly on this one day.
So what’s left?
Most Penalties in a Season – The current record of 135 is held by the 5-9-1 1987 Packers. You remember that team, don’t you? Names like Randy Wright, Paul Ott Carruth, Phil Epps, Alfonso Carreker. Ahh, the good old days… (actually, that team did have one of my all-time favorite linebacker corps, with John Anderson, Brian Noble, Tim Harris and Johnny Holland. Other than that, though…). Mike McCarthy’s Packers did manage 118 penalties in 2009, but you would think they need to get their penalty-producing asses in gear to catch that 1987 team. Amazingly, though, the Packers need only to maintain their current penalty per game average (8.6667) to finish the season with 138 penalties. Hey, that’s not unreasonable!
Most Penalty Yards in a season – (1103 yards) Also currently held by the 1987 packers . Boy, that team was something, wasn’t it? But let’s not shortchange the 2010 Packers. It was only last season that the Packers were penalized for 1057 yards, currently good for second place in franchise history. Now this is a very attainable goal to shoot for. Go Pack!
Most Penalty yards in a game: (184) We come back to the 1945 Packers. And yes folks, once again second place is held by Mike McCarthy’s 2009 Packers with 175 penalty yards against the Ravens. That’s just one more holding penalty away. Come on offensive line, step it up!
So, for those of you who were worried about what the Packers could do to reach new heights in the penalty department, I’ve shown you that there is still much more left to be accomplished. As long as Mike McCarthy is still planning on “cleaning that up”, with a liitle hard work, the Packers can surely achieve these lofty goals.
Penalty Champs Or Die!
(For a slightly more serious look at penalties and the Green Bay Packers, check out this recent article by Brian Carriveau on Mike McCarthy’s tolerance for penalties and this article from last season by Greg Bedard on why he thinks penalties don’t matter.)——————
Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for Drafttek.com.