Fifteen unlawful contact flags had been thrown in Week 1 of the NFL preseason, after 36 had been thrown in the entire earlier common season.

NFL officers threw 15 flags for unlawful contact in the course of the first week of the preseason, a excessive quantity indicating the league’s request that officers take note of these fouls.

The league doesn’t compile public preseason penalty information, however the whole is predicated on ESPN’s examination of the week’s play-by-play log. This represents a pointy improve from tendencies in 2021, when officers threw solely 36 flags for unlawful contact for your complete 18-week common season. It was additionally a big bump from the common of 97 established yearly between 2002 and 2020.

Unlawful contact refers to prohibited contact by a defender when the quarterback nonetheless has the ball and stays within the pocket. This can be a penalty of 5 yards and mechanically leads to the primary down.

The low 2021 whole prompted the NFL’s competitors committee to incorporate unlawful contacts between “factors of clarification” for the 2022 season, beforehand referred to as “factors of emphasis”.

League sources surveyed by ESPN had been divided on whether or not the wording of this yr’s unlawful contact directives would spark a flag, because the earlier two factors had been emphasised. In 2014, flags of unlawful contact elevated from 52 in 2013 to 148. In 2004, they elevated from 79 in 2003 to 191.

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