Philadelphia Eagles: How Penalties on 3rd Down Impacted the 2011 Season

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Philadelphia Eagles: How Penalties on 3rd Down Impacted the 2011 Season
Jay Drowns/Getty Images

As a supplement to my previous article about the Philadelphia Eagles: Getting Back to Basics Will Guarantee Playoffs in 2012" target="_blank" href="http://eaglesaddict.com/http:/www.eaglesaddict.com/2012-07-02/philadelphia-eagles-getting-back-to-basics-will-guarantee-playoffs-in-2012/">"Philadelphia Eagles: Getting Back to Basics Will Guarantee Playoffs in 2012", I wanted to throw in some penalty statistics that may be of interest...or concern.

A reader brought up a point about getting killed with penalties on third-down last year that either kept the opponent's drive alive, or thwarted our own drive.  Since I can remember that penalties were, in fact, a problem, I thought that would be an interesting thing to look up.

Penalties are a part of the game, but I still find it frustrating, and at the same time, interesting, how penalties can alter the outcome of a game.  Especially when they happen on third-down.

Well, after some vigorous Google searches and perusals of several sites that keep stats, I came away disappointed that I couldn't find any site that tracked such a thing.  Therefore, I had to do it the old-fashioned way and sift through every game's play-by-play.

I only looked for defensive penalties that occurred on third-down where the penalty is what actually kept the opponent's drive going. 

For example, if the opponent had an in-completion or they were stopped short of a first down, but an Eagles penalty gave them a first, I counted that.  If the opponent would have gotten the first down anyway (without the penalty), I did not include that one.

I also looked for penalties at crucial junctures of games that seemingly had a significant impact on the outcome.  Lastly, I noted whether or not the opponent went on to score on a particular drive where a penalty kept it alive.

On the offensive side, I only looked for penalties on third down that killed the drive, or penalties on any down that may have impacted a scoring opportunity.

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