If there is anything every single fan of professional football can agree on at the end of preseason game play it’s the amount of penalty flags witnessed were atrocious. The Kansas City Chiefs ended with over 30 penalties in the preseason with 14 of them coming in the final game.
Essentially, the league wanted to try to help alleviate some of the roughness in the secondary by finding a way to stop the pushing past the 5 yard mark. The solution to stopping that was to flag any type of touching or pushing after five yards. The result left defenders frustrated and fans annoyed.
League calls are up over 800% in comparison to preseason last year. Chiefs fans felt the sting in several defensive pass interference calls that ended up in points for the opponents. However, that could be the reason for the increase of flags. Sources in the league suggest that fans are wanting higher scoring games which means a less dominating defense.
While fans enjoy scoring points, they also enjoy the game of football which includes tough defenses. Tough defenses can win games more than high power offenses. Just ask Peyton.
However, Vice President of officiating Dean Blandino expects to see the flag flying to decrease going into regular season. He believes that the increase in flags was due to an adjustment period for officials and coaches. He said, “When the regular season rolls around, I think everybody will be on the same page and I think you’ll see those foul totals go down.”
Supposedly, due to some complaints around the league the final game of the preseason was expected to see fewer flags. Chiefs still managed 14. Coach Andy Reid said after the game against the Green Bay Packers, “14 penalties, I mean, obviously that’s way too much. It’s just ridiculous so we have to fix it.”
Should fans be concerned about the regular season? It’s hard to say for now because the final game only shined light on the back up players. The Chiefs did struggle throughout the preseason with penalties but in week 3’s game the team only had 2 penalties. It’s worth noting that the starters did play for the majority of the game with all starters on the field for the entire first half and the first drive of the 3rd quarter.
For now, the team will have to work out the kinks so when they take the field against the Tennessee Titans on September 7 we will see a small number of penalties comparable to the Minnesota Vikings game.