O’Neil: Including 3 crucial personal fouls Sunday, Seahawks set dubious team record for penalties
The 2017 Seahawks lost almost as many yards to penalties than any team in NFL history.
Penalties also pretty much lost the regular-season finale for Seattle when you consider the impact of the Seahawks’ three personal fouls in the second half of Sunday’s 26-24 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. One of those flags pushed the Seahawks out of scoring range while another sustained what turned out to be the game-winning drive for Arizona.
All were entirely unnecessary.
“So disappointed in the three penalties,” coach Pete Carroll said.
A taunting penalty on Thomas Rawls cost Seattle points in the third quarter, short-circuiting a drive that had reached the Arizona 25 and pushing the Seahawks out of scoring range.
A roughing-the-passer penalty against Bobby Wagner in the fourth quarter was even more costly, coming after Seattle had stopped the Cardinals on third down with 6:20 left in the fourth quarter. Instead of punting from their own 17, the Cardinals got a first down to sustain what turned out to be their drive to a game-winning field-goal attempt.
Seattle was penalized eight times against Arizona, costing the Seahawks 100 yards.
The Seahawks were penalized 148 times this season, a franchise record. Those penalties cost Seattle 1,382 1,342 yards, almost “breaking” the NFL “record” for penalty yards, which was 1,356 set by Oakland last season.
Penalties aren’t new. Four of Seattle’s five most-penalized seasons have come in the past seven years under Carroll. In fact, the Seahawks lost 1,183 yards to penalties in 2013 – the largest single-season total in franchise history – but still won the Super Bowl.
“This season – with the margin of error we had – we weren’t able to overcome that stuff,” Carroll said. “It’s just an area of our football that has to change. I’ve got to get that done.”