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Julian Edelman, J.C. Jackson lead list of most penalized Patriots during the 2019 season

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Let’s find out which Patriots have been responsible for the most flags this season.

NFL: JAN 04 AFC Wild Card - Titans at Patriots Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Even though their season came to a premature end on wild card weekend, the New England Patriots did play a lot of good football in 2019. After all, the team finished the regular season with a 12-4 record — tied for fifth best in the NFL — and ranked second in the league with a scoring differential of +195. There are numerous reasons for the Patriots’ success, but one flying under the radar cannot be ignored: the team’s consistently disciplined play.

With only three games remaining in the 2019 playoffs we can already say that New England will finish the season near the top in terms of penalties: the AFC East champions were flagged only 97 times over their 17 combined games this year, ranking sixth in the league in both total penalties and penalty percentage when measured against the number of plays (3.2% on 3,010 plays) and ninth in terms of penalty yardage lost (856).

With that being said and by using data compiled by NFLPenalties.com, let’s find out who are the players responsible for the Patriots’ infractions this season split up by offense, defense and special teams (numbers are split up by where a player saw his most snaps):

Offense

2019: Offensive penalties

Player Total penalties Accepted Declined Penalty yards Penalties
Player Total penalties Accepted Declined Penalty yards Penalties
Julian Edelman 7 7 0 60 False Start (2), Illegal Block Above the Waist (2), Offensive Pass Interference (2), Offensive Holding (1)
Shaq Mason 5 5 0 40 Offensive Holding (3), False Start (1), Ineligible Downfield Pass (1)
Tom Brady 4 4 0 43 Intentional Grounding (4)
Benjamin Watson 4 4 0 35 Offensive Pass Interference (2), Offensive Holding (1), False Start (1)
Ryan Izzo 4 4 0 35 Offensive Pass Interference (3), False Start (1)
Marcus Cannon 3 3 0 20 False Start (2), Offensive Holding (1)
Isaiah Wynn 3 3 0 20 False Start (2), Offensive Holding (1)
Ted Karras 3 2 1 20 Offensive Holding (3)
Marshall Newhouse 3 1 2 10 Offensive Holding (3)
Josh Gordon 2 2 0 25 Offensive Pass Interference (1), Face Mask (1)
James White 1 1 0 10 Offensive Holding (1)
Eric Tomlinson 1 1 0 10 Offensive Holding (1)
Jakobi Meyers 1 1 0 5 False Start (1)
Korey Cunningham 1 1 0 4 False Start (1)
Mohamed Sanu 1 0 1 0 Illegal Shift (1)
N'Keal Harry 1 0 1 0 Offensive Pass Interference (1)
Rex Burkhead 1 0 1 0 Offensive Holding (1)
NFLPenalties.com

As can be seen, Julian Edelman has been responsible for the most penalties suffered by the Patriots offense: the Super Bowl MVP, who was New England’s most consistent pass catcher in 2019, was flagged for a variety of infractions — from false starts and illegal blocks to pass interference and holding. Along the offensive line, meanwhile, guard Shaq Mason has been the main culprit. The most costly of his five total penalties may just have come in the Patriots’ wild card loss to the Tennessee Titans, when he moved too far down field to negate a 38-yard pass.

Defense

2019: Defensive penalties

Player Total penalties Accepted Declined Penalty yards Penalties
Player Total penalties Accepted Declined Penalty yards Penalties
J.C. Jackson 7 6 1 74 Defensive Pass Interference (5), Defensive Holding (1), Illegal Contact (1)
Deatrich Wise Jr. 7 6 1 70 Roughing the Passer (3), Illegal Use of Hands (2), Defensive Offside (1), Horse Collar Tackle (1)
Stephon Gilmore 6 5 1 25 Defensive Holding (4), Defensive Pass Interference (1), Illegal Use of Hands (1)
Jason McCourty 4 4 0 76 Illegal Use of Hands (2), Defensive Pass Interference (2)
Danny Shelton 4 4 0 40 Roughing the Passer (1), Illegal Use of Hands (1), False Start (1), Unnecessary Roughness (1)
Shilique Calhoun 4 4 0 18 Neutral Zone Infraction (2), Defensive Offside (1), Defensive Holding (1)
Jonathan Jones 3 2 1 23 Unnecessary Roughness (1), Defensive Holding (1), Defensive Pass Interference (1)
Terrence Brooks 2 2 0 20 Unnecessary Roughness (1), Illegal Contact (1)
Elandon Roberts 2 2 0 10 Illegal Use of Hands (1), Defensive Pass Interference (1)
Kyle Van Noy 2 1 1 8 Unnecessary Roughness (1), Defensive Offside (1)
Devin McCourty 1 1 0 15 Lowering the Head to Initiate Contact (1)
Dont'a Hightower 1 1 0 5 Defensive Offside (1)
Adam Butler 1 1 0 5 Neutral Zone Infraction (1)
Lawrence Guy 1 1 0 5 Defensive Holding (1)
Ja'Whaun Bentley 1 1 0 5 Defensive Holding (1)
John Simon 1 1 0 5 Defensive Holding (1)
Patrick Chung 1 0 1 0 Defensive Pass Interference (1)
NFLPenalties.com

Two defenders stand out among the rest in terms of penalties accumulated during the 2019 season: cornerback J.C. Jackson and defensive lineman Deatrich Wise Jr, who both were flagged seven times — tied with Edelman for the team lead. There is a difference between the two, however, considering that Jackson was a starter by the end of the season while Wise Jr. was a role player throughout the year.

Special teams

2019: Special teams penalties

Player Total penalties Accepted Declined Penalty yards Penalties
Player Total penalties Accepted Declined Penalty yards Penalties
Brandon Bolden 4 3 1 25 False Start (2), Illegal Block Above the Waist (2)
Matthew Slater 2 2 0 30 Unsportsmanlike Conduct (2)
Justin Bethel 2 2 0 10 Defensive Offside (1), Neutral Zone Infraction (1)
Joejuan Williams 1 1 0 10 Offensive Holding (1)
Joe Cardona 1 1 0 5 False Start (1)
NFLPenalties.com

New England’s special teams units made their fair share of plays while being comparatively disciplined in the process. As can be seen, Brandon Bolden lead the group with four penalties. The number does not stand out, however, something that cannot be said of Matthew Slater’s two infractions: the team captain was penalized twice for unsportsmanlike conduct. However, the penalties came after Slater was forced out of bounds and unable to reenter the field right away.