Penalty Analysis: A Few Really Hurt

The Colts were flagged eight times on Sunday. It's an area of focus for the team as they try to work out a few uncharacteristic problems prior to the start of the final quarter of the regular season. ColtPower takes a look at the penalties this past Sunday and how they impacted the game.

The Colts were flagged eight times on Sunday for 59 yards. Here's how it impacted the game.


Jake Scott: False Start, 5 yards
Tarik Glenn: False Start, 5 yards

Impact: The Colts ended up punting on that set of downs after those two penalties were called. They couldn't dig out of the 1st-and-20 situation it created.

Dwight Freeney: Offsides, 5 yards, declined.
Josh Thomas: Offsides, 5 yards, declined.

Impact: These early miscues didn't hurt as the Titans got more yardage on the plays than the penalties would have provided.

Bryan Fletcher: False Start, 4 yards (honest, that's what the official gamebook from the NFL says and it adds up to the 59-yard total)

Impact: Colts got a first down following Fletcher's penalty and kept their drive going.

Kelvin Hayden: Illegal Block Above the Waist, 10 yards on punt return
Charlie Johnson: Holding, 9 yards

Impact: Hayden's penalty actually cost the team 17 yards of field position since the 10 yards was marked off from the spot of the foul. They could have started at their 37 instead of their 20. Johnson's holding call initially negated a first down run by Rhodes, but the Colts picked up the first down on the next play. After that first down, Manning threw the interception to Keith Bulluck. The Colts had 28 yards of forward offensive production before surrendering the ball. Had they started from the 37 instead of the 20, and Johnson hadn't set them back 9 yards, the interception occurs at the Tennessee 29 with 31 seconds left instead of at the Colts' 42.


Marlin Jackson: Taunting, 11 yards (half the distance to the goal) following interception return.
Jeff Saturday: False Start, 5 yards

Impact: Colts start at the 12-yard line instead of the 23. The Colts fail to convert a 3rd-and-9 on the next play and have to punt.


The offense was called for a total of 5 penalties, three of which contributed to ending two of their nine possessions. The only offensive lineman who didn't get called for a penalty in this one was Ryan Lilja. Charlie Johnson's holding penalty was the only offensive line penalty that didn't impact keeping possession of the ball.

The defense got called for three penalties, two that were declined. The one against Jackson only impacted field position, but was a really silly mistake that he won't likely repeat in the near future.

Special teams were charged with one penalty, but it was a costly one. Hayden's penalty put the offense 17 yards deeper in the hole which was important to field position when the Titans intercepted that pass right before the half.

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