NFL Penalty Tracker
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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 (1066), Defensive Holding (804), Roughing the Passer (411), Illegal Contact (244), Illegal Use of Hands (182), Face Mask (15 Yards) (162), Personal Foul (61), Lowering the Head to Initiate Contact (9), Tripping (5), and Roughing the Kicker (2)

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TeamBenefitted OffenseHarmed DefenseNet CountBenefitted Off YardsHarmed Def YardsNet Penalty YardsOff DesperationDef DesperationNet DesperationNet Yardage MitigatedOff TDsDef TDsNet TDs
Green Bay12779481480738742321715338452817
Chicago99821793491024311516190443014
Tampa Bay868249048406433249892835-7
Kansas City8992-3817909-9230273-123638-2
Tennessee10772351016703313291811295362610
Indianapolis1098821115310091443021921334331
Las Vegas83112-299651207-2422337-14-2512638-12
Atlanta1148628106691714938191920648408
New England1099514109289619630237146433112
Arizona9281119747332412231-9472529-4
Cleveland8387-4696966-2701631-15-803239-7
Jacksonville8490-6873957-8422220-3432239
N.Y. Giants86779956878782224-215372611
Cincinnati93801392674618034211321631283
Buffalo84786975779196252501428253
LA Chargers91108-179241127-2032122-1-663240-8
Dallas81101-207451028-2831328-15-12433303
Washington8762258087081002215714629236
Houston86108-227711120-3491830-12-1722643-17
Detroit90103-139451060-11528271-503234-2
LA Rams7492-186961190-4942326-3-1202334-11
N.Y. Jets89118-299121239-3271933-14-2672537-12
Denver1069881082106715261974634340
Miami8198-1710089585028280-1282430-6
Baltimore9398-5124797327427261-1234304
New Orleans82121-398701263-3931824-6-2954854-6
Pittsburgh79763971816155242044628253
Seattle84106-229501072-1222229-7-1953242-10
San Francisco94101-7939959-202833-5-11832320
Philadelphia89100-119681030-622233-11-1053142-11
Minnesota102921010961012842228-61040400
Carolina938310872821512022-212382711
Totals2946294603063130631079879800106610660

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.