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Following the flags: Tracking Patriots penalties for 2012 season

10.16.12 at 8:41 pm ET
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Through six weeks, the Patriots have been flagged for 34 penalties (24th in the league) for a total of 312 yards (20th in the league). Here’€™s a breakdown of the calls that have gone against the Patriots this year, not including penalties that were declined or offset:

Most penalized players, listed by total flags and with total yardage lost:
TE Rob Gronkowski: four penalties (two offensive holding, false start, offensive pass interference), 35 yards
CB Devin McCourty: three penalties (defensive holding, two defensive pass interference), 51 yards
Team: three penalties (illegal formation, illegal shift, illegal block above the waist), 20 yards
LB Brandon Spikes: two penalties (defensive holding, unnecessary roughness), 20 yards
WR Julian Edelman: two penalties (false start, offensive pass interference), 15 yards
ST Niko Koutouvides: two penalties (defensive holding, illegal block above the waist), 14 yards
DL Vince Wilfork: two penalties (encroachment, defensive offsides), 10 yards
LB Jerod Mayo: two penalties (defensive pass interference) 8 yards
S Pat Chung: one penalty (defensive pass interference), 40 yards
S Steve Gregory: one penalty (personal foul), 15 yards
C Ryan Wendell: one penalty (offensive holding), 10 yards
S Tavon Wilson: one penalty (offensive holding’€“punt return team), 10 yards
ST Nate Ebner: one penalty (offensive holding), 10 yards
QB Tom Brady: one penalty (intentional grounding), 10 yards
CB Ras-I Dowling: one penalty (defensive pass interference) 9 yards
CB Kyle Arrington: one penalty (defensive holding), 5 yards
DE Chandler Jones: one penalty (defensive offsides) 5 yards
LS Danny Aiken: one penalty (false start) 5 yards
OL Donald Thomas: one penalty (false start) 5 yards
G Logan Mankins: one penalty (false start), 5 yards
OT Nate Solder: one penalty (false start), 5 yards
OT Sebastian Vollmer: one penalty (false start), 5 yards

Most penalized by position:
Cornerback: Five penalties for 65 yards
Specialists (punter, kicker, long snapper, kick/punt units): Five penalties for 39 yards
Offensive line: Five penalties for 30 yards
Tight end: Four penalties for 35 yards
Linebacker: Four penalties for 28 yards
Team: Three penalties for 20 yards
Defensive line: Three penalties for 15 yards
Wide receiver: Two penalties for 15 yards
Safety: Two penalties for 55 yards
Quarterback: One penalty for 10

Most frequently called penalties on the Patriots:
False start: Seven
Defensive pass interference: Six
Offensive holding: Five
Defensive holding: Three
Defensive offsides: Three
Illegal block above the waist: Two
Offensive pass interference: Two
Unnecessary roughness: One
Intentional grounding: One
Illegal formation: One
Personal foul: One
Encroachment: One
Illegal shift: One

Notes: Brady was twice called for intentional grounding on Sunday against the Seahawks, but the call at the end of the first half was declined. ‘€¦ The 40-yard pass interference call that went against Chung Sunday was the costliest of the season in terms of total yardage. ‘€¦ By way of comparison, through six games last year, the Patriots were called for 39 penalties and 353 yards. This year, they’€™re down in both departments ‘€“ they have five fewer penalties and 41 fewer penalty yards. ‘€¦ Kudos to the offensive line: Through six games last season, they led the team in total penalty per position with 11. This season, through six games, they have less than half that many. In that same vein, the Patriots had 12 offensive holding calls through six games last year. This season, they have five through six games. ‘€¦ As a ream, New England is averaging 5.7 penalties a game and 52 penalty yards. ‘€¦ When it comes to the AFC East, the Patriots are tied with the Bills for second-fewest penalties with 34. (The Dolphins have 32, while the Jets have 38.) In addition, New England is third in the division in penalty yardage with 312. The Bills are best in the AFC East with 245 penalty yards, while the Dolphins are second at 254 yards. The Jets are fourth with 370 penalty yards.

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