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Does The NFL Have A Penalty Problem?

A lot has been made this season about a supposed penalty problem in the NFL. Through the first seven weeks, penalties are up, players are speaking out and being fined, games have swung, and fans are frustrated. But is there really a problem? Or is this criticism simply a result of increased scrutiny from an endless amount of slo-mo replays and a cacophony from millions of arm-chair referees on social media?  

Through seven weeks we have seen more penalties this season than we have in any of the last three years. Offensive penalties have seen a large increase of 23%, while defensive penalties have increased by 10% compared to the average of the last three years. Special teams returns have also seen a large increase of 23% compared to the same period.

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