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Following the flags: Tracking Patriots penalties for 2012 season

10.30.12 at 12:31 pm ET

Through eight weeks, the Patriots have been flagged for 48 penalties (16th in the league) for a total of 394 yards (18th 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
Team: four penalties (illegal formation, illegal shift, illegal block above the waist, defensive holding), 25 yards
CB Devin McCourty: three penalties (defensive holding, two defensive pass interference), 51 yards
DL Vince Wilfork: three penalties (two encroachment, defensive offsides), 15 yards
LB Brandon Spikes: two penalties (defensive holding, unnecessary roughness), 20 yards
CB Ras-I Dowling: two penalties (defensive pass interference, defensive holding), 19 yards
WR Julian Edelman: two penalties (false start, offensive pass interference), 15 yards
OL Donald Thomas: two penalties (false start, offensive holding), 15 yards
ST Niko Koutouvides: two penalties (defensive holding, illegal block above the waist), 14 yards
OT Sebastian Vollmer: two penalties (illegal formation, false start), 10 yards
DE Chandler Jones: 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
WR Brandon Lloyd: one penalty (offensive pass interference), 10 yards
LB Dont’€™a Hightower: one penalty (defensive holding), 10 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 Kyle Arrington: one penalty (defensive holding), 5 yards
LS Danny Aiken: one penalty (false start) 5 yards
G Logan Mankins: one penalty (false start), 5 yards
OT Nate Solder: one penalty (false start), 5 yards
CB Alfonzo Dennard: one penalty (defensive holding), 5 yards
TE Aaron Hernandez: one penalty (false start), 5 yards
ST Matthew Slater: one penalty (offsides on free kick), 5 yards
TE Daniel Fells: two penalties (false start, offensive pass interference), 12 yards
DL Jake Bequette: one penalty (encroachment), 5 yards

Most penalized by position:
Cornerback: Seven penalties for 75 yards
Offensive line: Seven penalties for 45 yards
Tight end: Seven penalties for 52 yards
Specialists (punter, kicker, long snapper, kick/punt units): Six penalties for 44 yards
Defensive line: Six penalties for 30 yards
Linebacker: Five penalties for 33 yards
Team: Four penalties for 25 yards
Wide receiver: Three penalties for 25 yards
Safety: Two penalties for 55 yards
Quarterback: One penalty for 10

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

Notes: By way of comparison, through the first eight games in 2011, the Patriots were flagged for 52 penalties for 471 yards. (For a complete look at last year’s numbers through eight games, click HERE.) … Biggest dropoff per position continues to be the offensive line, which was flagged for 16 penalties for 125 yards through eight games last year. This season, it’s seven penalties for 45 yards. Biggest uptick comes at corner, as they had four for 55 through eight games in 2011 — this year, it’s seven penalties for 75 yards. … Interesting to see some of the penalty spikes over the last couple of weeks. Last week against the Jets, the Patriots entered the game with three defensive holding calls, but picked up four more (three were accepted) in the win over New York. On Sunday against the Rams, New England was flagged three times for encroachment — a spike considering the fact that the Patriots were hit with one encroachment call through the first seven games of the year. … After sprinting out to a lead with four penalties over the first five weeks of the season, Gronkowski has gone penalty-free over the last three weeks.

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