Things looking up with penalties down

The Packers' penalty plague this season had them on the road to an unusually high number of costly infractions and yardage. That's not exactly what they need as they continually look for ways to compensate for their rash of injuries.<p> Finally, things are looking up -- or down for Packer penalties. Coach Mike Sherman is confident that when 2003 is in the books, it will all even out.<P>

"I think penalties, not to diminish the effect they have on the game, they're kind of like your golf score," Sherman said. "You may have a high golf score for the first nine holes, but eventually you're going to shoot you round and the second nine you get caught up.

"That's usually the case with penalties as well," Sherman said. This season the Packers had a whopping 96 penalties for 825 yards through 13 games. With only four infractions for 20 yards in the win at San Fran, the numbers are starting to even out.

"We're not a team that's been penalized in the past. We're not an undiciplined team," the coach said. "We've had our share of penalties in the first half of the year, but we don't seem to be afflicted by them at that rate we were earlier.

"I think we'll wind up where we usually end up when the season's over with," Sherman said.

That's optimistic, considering that the Packers already have more penalties than they did last season. Last season, the Packers were penalized 80 times for 633 yards. Opponents in 2001 were flagged 104 times for 914 yards. In Sherman's first GB campaign, the Packers had 88 penalties for 685 yards.

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