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Brandon Browner Penalties Costing the Patriots Roughly Two Touchdowns

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Do you believe in the Expected Points Model? If so, you'll think that Brandon Browner's penalties are worth a fair amount.

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Isn't that just the most Brandon Browner picture out there? Browner making the play on the ball, with the ref in the background already throwing his penalty flag?

I will not say that Browner needs to change his defensive style; he brings an edge to the defense that captures his teammates and propels them to another stratosphere of performance. I'll also say that the positive impact of his tenacity will not be reflected in the expected points model.

Pro Football Reference has a neat ability to show a team's expected points on a drive based upon down, distance, location on the field, and time on the clock by reviewing historical data. They can show the expected points before and after a play, with the difference becoming the Expected Points Added (EPA). A big play will be worth a lot of expected points, a bad play will cost points.

The data set is semi-limited, but we can find all penalties that resulted in "No Play". Offsetting penalties aren't counted. This means that penalties tacked on to plays (horse collars, face masks) aren't counted, but this only means that we're underpredicting the player's EPA from penalties.

As example is Brandon Browner's 25 yard defensive pass interference penalty against the Dolphins. Prior to the play, the Dolphins had a 1st and 10 on the Miami 39 yard line, a position that results in an average of 1.53 points. After the penalty, Miami had the ball on the Patriots 36 yard line, a position that yields an average of 3.18 points. As a result, Browner's penalty was worth the difference, or 1.65 points.

This is rudimentary (maybe the ball would've gone for a touchdown?), but gives a pretty fair baseline.

Browner's tally of 11 penalties captured- not included the offset, declined, and tacked on penalties- are worth an expected 11.41 points. If you factor in his tacked on penalties, it's worth an extra two points, which brings his penalty value to a shade under 14 points, or two touchdowns.

That's good for third most points conceeded by penalties in the league, behind Darius Slay (three pass interference calls of 20+ yards) and Shareece Wright (five pass interference calls of 15+ yards).

I wouldn't change much about Browner's game, but it's valueable to add some context to the penalties he's accruing.