Drive Extending Automatic First Down Penalties - 2009 to Present

This page shows all penalties that resulted in an automatic first down, based on the type of penalty, on 3rd and 4th down.

In other words the offense would likely have punted or settled in some form, but the drive was extended by an automatic first down. There are many additional penalties that based on the penalty yardage and distance remaining resulted in a first down. Declined and Offsetting penalties are not shown in this table. Penalties occuring on special teams are not included.

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The table below contains the following penalties: Defensive Pass Interference (1061), Defensive Holding (799), Roughing the Passer (409), Illegal Contact (243), Illegal Use of Hands (181), Face Mask (15 Yards) (162), Personal Foul (61), Lowering the Head to Initiate Contact (8), Tripping (5), and Roughing the Kicker (1)

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TeamBenefitted OffenseHarmed DefenseNet CountBenefitted Off YardsHarmed Def YardsNet Penalty YardsOff DesperationDef DesperationNet DesperationNet Yardage MitigatedOff TDsDef TDsNet TDs
LA Rams7492-186961190-4942326-3-1202334-11
Tampa Bay86815904825793323101062835-7
Kansas City8892-4802909-10729272-293638-2
Las Vegas83110-279651171-2062336-13-2292638-12
Indianapolis108862211479941532921821134331
Green Bay12778491480736744321715341452817
LA Chargers90108-189091127-2182122-1-743240-8
N.Y. Jets89118-299121239-3271933-14-2672537-12
Denver1069881082106715261974634340
Miami8198-1710089585028280-1282430-6
Tennessee10571341001697304291712297362610
Baltimore9398-5124797327427261-1234304
New Orleans82121-398701263-3931824-6-2954854-6
Atlanta1128626103091711337191818448408
Jacksonville8390-7861957-962122-1-4432239
Pittsburgh79763971816155242044628253
Seattle84106-229501072-1222229-7-1953242-10
San Francisco94101-7939959-202833-5-11832320
Detroit89103-149401060-12028271-563234-2
Washington856223798708902215713729236
Houston86107-217711115-3441830-12-1662643-17
Cleveland8386-3696954-2581630-14-703239-7
N.Y. Giants867610956861952223-125372611
Philadelphia89100-119681030-622233-11-1053142-11
New England1089315108788919830237148433112
Dallas8199-187451018-2731328-15-11533303
Chicago98821693291022311516187443014
Minnesota102921010961012842228-61040400
Carolina938310872821512022-212382711
Buffalo84777975764211252502228253
Cincinnati92801290974616333211220631283
Arizona9080109677282392231-9452529-4
Totals2930293003048630486079379300106610660

More Explanation

"Desperation" is 3rd and 10 or more or 4th and 6 or more. A team with an Off Desperation of 24 has gotten 24 automatic first downs when they were in a desperate situation. A team with a Def Desperation of 19 has given up 19 automatic first downs when they had the offense in a desperate situation. "Yardage Mitigated" is the total yardage the offense had remaining to get a first down when the flag was thrown granting a first down.

Off TDs/Def TDs: Shows if the drive resulted in a TD. Why not track total points? Because we can't reasonably know if a team was in FG range, and if so what percentage the penalty helped. We can be reasonably sure the team wouldn't have a TD if not for the penalty.

For Example: Arizona is playing Carolina. Arizona has the ball 3rd and 11 and Carolina is called for Defensive Holding. It's 5 yards and an automatic first down. The drive resulted in a TD. The play is tablated as follows.

Arizona: +1 Benefitted Offense, +1 Net Count, +5 Benefitted Off Yards, +5 Net Penaly Yards, +1 Off Desperation, +1 Net Desperation, +11 Net Yardage Mitigated, +1 Off TD, +1 Net TD.

Carolina: +1 Harmed Defense, -1 Net Count, +5 Harmed Def Yards, -5 Net Penaly Yards, +1 Def Desperation, -1 Net Desperation, -11 Net Yardage Mitigated, +1 Def TD, -1 Net TD.

Issues with the Data: While by and large these penalties extend drives, it is possible that some of these drives would not have ended. The offense might accept a 15 yard penalty on a play where they otherwise only gained 6, but got the first down. This table does not account for that. Also if the penalty occurred on 3rd down the team may have gone for it on 4th and extended the drive that way.

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