NFL officers threw 15 flags for unlawful contact through the first week of the preseason, an elevated quantity that mirrored the league’s request that they pay shut consideration to these fouls.
The league doesn’t compile public preseason penalty knowledge, however the whole is predicated on an ESPN examination of the week’s play-by-play logs. It represents a steep rise from 2021 tendencies, when officers threw solely 36 flags for unlawful contact for your entire 18-week common season. And it was additionally a major bump from the common of 97 established yearly between 2002-20.
Unlawful contact refers to prohibited contact by a defender when the quarterback nonetheless has the ball and stays within the pocket. It’s a 5-yard penalty and leads to an automated first down.
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The low 2021 whole prompted the NFL’s competitors committee to incorporate unlawful contact amongst its “factors of clarification,” previously generally known as “factors of emphasis,” for the 2022 season.
League sources surveyed by ESPN have been break up on whether or not the wording of this yr’s unlawful contact directions will result in a spike in flags, as occurred after the 2 earlier factors of emphasis for the foul. In 2014, flags for unlawful contact rose to 148 from 52 in 2013. In 2004, they rose to 191 from 79 in 2003.
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