December 9, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; A penalty flag sits in the end zone during the game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Dallas Cowboys at Paul Brown Stadium. Dallas won the game 20-19. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
If you read are earlier article on Vontaze Burfict, then you’ll know how he’s been incurring penalties at an alarming rate, but he certainly isn’t the only reason the Bengals are among the worst in the NFL when it comes to free yardage given up.
The Bengals rank 19th in the NFL with 6.7 penalties per game, and are 24th in terms of penalty yardage at 62.2 ypg.
That’s unacceptable for a team claiming they want to win a Super Bowl, as those mistakes could easily be the difference in a one-possession game in the postseason. You could argue that penalties cost the Bengals win in Week 1 over the Chicago Bears, and have kept all of their other games closer than they should have been. Penalties helped the Bills rally Sunday to send the game into overtime, and could have led to a gut-wrenching loss that prevented them from taking the lead in the AFC North.
But that’s the great thing about penalties. There one of the most correctable problems a team can have. Once they realize how much giving away free yards are hurting their chances to close-out games, they’ll become discipline, with some extra conditioning from the coaches likely helping sway them as well.