NFL Penalty Tracker

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 occurring on special teams are not included.

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The table below contains the following penalties: Defensive Pass Interference (1413), Defensive Holding (1015), Roughing the Passer (536), Illegal Contact (306), Illegal Use of Hands (217), Face Mask (15 Yards) (171), Unsportsmanlike Conduct (115), Personal Foul (61), Horse Collar Tackle (50), Taunting (35), Face Mask (19), Lowering the Head to Initiate Contact (10), Tripping (6), and Lowering the Head to Make Forcible Contact (2)

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TeamBenefitted OffenseHarmed DefenseNet CountBenefitted Off YardsHarmed Def YardsNet Penalty YardsOff DesperationDef DesperationNet DesperationNet Yardage MitigatedOff TDsDef TDsNet TDs
New England143115281429114428536297198443113
Tampa Bay11510871226109313337298872935-6
N.Y. Jets117155-3811891663-4742949-20-3252738-11
New Orleans114156-4212101597-3872231-9-2995156-5
LA Chargers126138-1212601407-1473034-4-913440-6
LA Rams104117-139501456-5063133-2-662437-13
San Francisco129139-1012721514-2423845-7-1593336-3
Green Bay1571075018031046757352411288462818
Kansas City124140-1611471464-3173841-3-1183742-5
Las Vegas121146-251505150503643-7-1792839-11
N.Y. Giants114107711601172-122831-3-59392712

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 tabulated 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.