Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
For the first game all season, penalties were not a major factor in why the Buccaneers did not come out on top. The Bucs were only flagged four times in New England and only two of the four had a true impact on the game. Take away all four and the Buccaneers still get mauled. Nonetheless, let’s breakdown the four that did occur and show how the game might have been altered had they not happened.
|2nd and 10 at NE 28||PENALTY on TB-C.Nicks, False Start, 5 yards, enforced at NE 28 – No Play.|
The Buccaneers were moving the ball well on the opening drive of the afternoon. Starting at their own 30, Tampa Bay marched it down to the New England 28. The false start on Nicks took a manageable 2nd and 10 and turned it into a tougher 2nd and 15. On the next two plays the Buccaneers gained 13 yards setting up the 38 yard chip shot Lindell missed. Maybe without the penalty, the Buccaneers pick up a first on the subsequent pass to Vincent Jackson. Touchdown? A made field goal? Maybe a hotter start could have changed the game. (Buccaneers miss FG on drive)
Penalty Impact – 3 out of 10
|2nd and 15 at NE 45||(Shotgun) T.Brady pass incomplete deep middle to K.Thompkins. PENALTY on TB-L.David, Illegal Contact, 5 yards, enforced at NE 45 – No Play.|
The Patriots had picked up one first down and were hampered by a 2nd and 15. The pass went deep right to Kenbrell Thompkins. It was well defended and incomplete. The flag was thrown in the middle of the field about 30 yards away from where the play wound up heading. There’s no denying the fact that Lavonte David grabs Julian Edelman on the play and it did deserve a flag. It’s a big penalty because instead of 3rd and 15, it’s now 1st and 10. The Bucs may have been able to get off the field, instead you give Tom Brady another shot, and we all know how that winds up. (Patriots score TD on drive)
Penalty Impact – 5 out of 10
|3rd and 5 at TB 45||(Shotgun) T.Brady pass incomplete deep right to A.Dobson. PENALTY on TB-J. Banks, Defensive Pass Interference, 28 yards, enforced at TB 45 – No Play.|
Here’s a huge penalty. The Buccaneers appeared to get a stop on the play and would be getting the ball back just after the 2 minute warning. Instead the flag is thrown on Johnthan Banks for defensive pass interference.
Banks did not really contact the receiver enough to warrant a penalty, but the fact that his head never turns to locate the football draws a flag just about every time. We could argue this one all we want, but the fact is, Banks was beat by about half a step and he decided to try to knock it down blindly rather than turn and find the ball. Something you simply won’t get away with in the NFL. Turn you head, try to find the ball, if there’s contact you might get away with it.
Worst case scenario is that the receiver makes the play, but if you don’t turn, the receiver will get the call every time. (Patriots score TD on drive)
Penalty Impact – 7 out of 10
|2nd and 3 at NE 24||TB 79-Meredith eligible. D.Martin right guard to NE 23 for 1 yard. PENALTY on TB-J.Zuttah, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at NE 24 – No Play.|
Simply a bad holding penalty on Jeremy Zuttah. He’s absolutely manhandled off the line and grabs and pulls his man to the ground as a last resort. the only problem is, the play was a run, and Doug Martin was already by the point of contact. The hold was unnecessary. In the course of the game, it really didn’t make any difference because the Buccaneers were already dead in the water, but these are the ones that kill drives in games that do matter. Simply can’t happen this week against Arizona. (Buccaneers turn ball over on downs)
Penalty Impact – 3 out of 10