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 (975), Defensive Holding (766), Roughing the Passer (377), Illegal Contact (233), Illegal Use of Hands (177), Face Mask (15 Yards) (150), Personal Foul (61), Lowering the Head to Initiate Contact (6), and Tripping (5)

TeamBenefitted OffenseHarmed DefenseNet CountBenefitted Off YardsHarmed Def YardsNet Penalty YardsOff DesperationDef DesperationNet DesperationNet Yardage MitigatedOff TDsDef TDsNet TDs
Green Bay12072481378636742321517357452817
San Francisco8992-387286572528-3-10032311
Tennessee976730922648274291712282362610
Kansas City8284-2747797-5026242-103538-3
Houston8599-147601029-2691830-12-1352643-17
Seattle78104-268401064-2241929-10-2483242-10
Philadelphia8297-159021001-992233-11-1293142-11
LA Rams7287-156781091-4132224-2-992334-11
Arizona8976139626802822129-8662529-4
Dallas8092-12735955-2201326-13-7533303
Washington795920757683742114712529236
Indianapolis102822010598861732720718734331
Jacksonville797908427964621201532239
Baltimore929021232885347272434034304
Pittsburgh7170183076367211833028253
Tampa Bay75750710726-1630219862835-7
Atlanta10280229238388536181817648408
Miami7592-17912912026251-1202430-6
New England1068719107781526228208179433112
Cleveland7986-7657954-2971530-15-1033239-7
Cincinnati91791290374116233211220531283
Chicago927814833857-24291514154443014
Oakland77104-278661112-2462234-12-2242638-12
LA Chargers81101-208071054-2472022-2-1083240-8
Detroit8495-11881951-7026251-333234-2
Denver949409501008-5823194-1934340
N.Y. Giants79727897825722122-125372611
N.Y. Jets79108-298061129-3231631-15-2632537-12
Carolina887414802740622021-140382711
Buffalo767249067081982123-2-228253
New Orleans77114-378011145-3441622-6-2924854-6
Minnesota988991038991472127-6340400
Totals2750275002828528285074774700106510650

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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