Raiders need to solve penalty issue for playoff push
ALAMEDA >> Jon Gruden brings back Raiders legends as often as possible to remind his team of the rich tradition of the franchise.
One tradition that Gruden would like to do away with is penalties. The Raiders have led the NFL 18 times since 1963 (the most in NFL history) and are currently No. 2 in the NFL in both penalties (88) and penalty yards (779). Only Arizona (94)
has more penalties and Cleveland (822) more penalty yards.
“It’s been addressed,” Gruden said Friday before the Raiders departed for New York to face the Jets. “We are trying to emphasize it in all three phases and we’ve been in contact with the league on a few of the penalties we haven’t agreed with. But we are trying minimize them. We’re trying to eliminate them.”
A 17-10 win over the Cincinnati Bengals was a minor step in the right direction as the Raiders had seven penalties for 42 yards — their lowest figure of the season in terms of yardage and one shy of their season-low six penalties against the Chicago Bears in London.
But the three-game win streak that has the Raiders at 6-4 has included 29 penalties for 235 yards. Before that, the Raiders had 11 penalties for 100 yards in a 27-24 loss at Houston.
Some not-so-fun numbers regarding the Raiders and their penchant for flags this season:
• 35: First downs by penalty on defense this season compared to only nine first downs by penalty on offense — a minus-26 margin that is far and away the highest total in the NFL.
• 27: Accepted penalties on pre-snap fouls such as offsides, encroachement, illegal procedure, false starts and delay of game.