On Sunday night the Kansas City Chiefs visited Charlotte for a preseason matchup with the Carolina Panthers. The Chiefs got off to a hot start, led by several solid drives by Alex Smith, but in the second half Carolina caught up and broke away for a 28-16 win.
What did the Chiefs in more than anything was penalties: they were flagged 13 times and lost a total of 131 yards.
Head coach Andy Reid was not happy, and he said as much after the game:
“I told the players—those things, you get back, you work on it. You discipline yourselves, make sure you get it right and then when you look at the tape, see what kind of team you could be if you eliminate those penalties.”
Part of Reid’s job is keeping his team on point and getting them to cut out errors, but the number of yellow flags thrown was ridiculous. So far this preseason has been plagued by stoppages after penalties against the defense and it’s disrupted the flow of the games. Officials have been instructed to emphasize illegal contact and pass interference, and they have gone way overboard in doing so.
This photo from the game perfectly illustrates what I’m talking about:
— Justin Turner (@yourNFLAgent) August 18, 2014
That’s right. The Chiefs got flagged on that one.
Eliminating injuries is important, but this is getting ridiculous. If the NFL is really serious about maintaining a high standard for its product on the field they have to do better than this. Period.