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Isaiah Wynn, Matthew Judon among most penalized Patriots during the 2021 NFL season

Related: Devin McCourty explains what made the Patriots’ playoff exit so frustrating

New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

2021 saw the New England Patriots return to the playoffs after a one-year absence and finish the regular season a respectable 10-7 before a loss in the wild card round. While there was a lot of positive to take away from that season, the team did have some downs to go along with its ups. One of those downs was a comparatively high number of penalties.

One year after being the least penalized team in football, New England was a middle of the pack team in that department. The Patriots were flagged 110 times over their 18 games this year, with their 100 accepted penalties ranking 11th in the league in total penalties. They were ranked 19th in penalty yardage lost (888).

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

2021: Offensive penalties

Player Position Total penalties Accepted Declined/Offsetting Penalty yards Penalties
Player Position Total penalties Accepted Declined/Offsetting Penalty yards Penalties
Isaiah Wynn OT 9 8 1 65 Offensive Holding (5), False Start (3), Illegal Use of Hands (1)
Jonnu Smith TE 6 5 1 40 Offensive Holding (4), False Start (2)
Shaq Mason G 4 4 0 40 Offensive Holding (2), Illegal Blindside Block (1), Ineligible Downfield Pass (1)
Hunter Henry TE 4 3 1 15 False Start (3), Offensive Pass Interference (1)
Michael Onwenu OL 3 3 0 25 Offensive Holding (2), False Start (1)
Kendrick Bourne WR 3 3 0 25 Offensive Holding (1), Illegal Block Above the Waist (1), False Start (1)
David Andrews C 3 2 1 20 Offensive Holding (2), Taunting (1)
Ted Karras G 2 2 0 15 False Start (1), Offensive Holding (1)
Jakobi Meyers WR 2 2 0 15 False Start (1), Offensive Holding (1)
Jakob Johnson FB 2 2 0 15 False Start (1), Offensive Holding (1)
Justin Herron OT 2 2 0 20 Offensive Holding (2)
Mac Jones QB 2 2 0 14 Intentional Grounding (1), False Start (1)
Trent Brown OT 1 1 0 15 Unsportsmanlike Conduct (1)
Brandon Bolden RB 1 1 0 15 Unnecessary Roughness (1)
James Ferentz G 1 1 0 10 Offensive Holding (1)
Gunner Olszewski WR 1 1 0 5 False Start (1)
NFLPenalties.com

After being penalized just 27 times during the 2020 season, the Patriots saw 55 infractions called against their offense in 2021 (46 on specific players plus nine more on the entire team). The number one culprit was offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn with nine total penalties, eight of which accepted: the former first-round draft pick was flagged five times for holding as well as three false starts and one illegal use of hands.

Wynn did have some encouraging moments during his fourth season with the Patriots and looked good especially during the team’s seven-game win streak. Like the entire offense, however, he struggled with consistency and his high number of penalties was a part of that.

Defense

2021: Defensive penalties

Player Position Total penalties Accepted Declined/Offsetting Penalty yards Penalties
Player Position Total penalties Accepted Declined/Offsetting Penalty yards Penalties
Matthew Judon LB 8 6 2 60 Defensive Holding (2), Roughing the Passer (2), Unnecessary Roughness (1), Running Into the Kicker (1), Defensive Offside (1), Neutral Zone Infraction (1)
J.C. Jackson CB 5 5 0 46 Defensive Pass Interference (3), Defensive Holding (1), Illegal Blindside Block (1)
Deatrich Wise Jr. DE 4 4 0 46 Unnecessary Roughness (1), Horse Collar Tackle (1), Roughing the Passer (1), Defensive Offside (1)
Jalen Mills CB 4 3 1 52 Defensive Pass Interference (3), Defensive Holding (1)
Kyle Van Noy LB 3 3 0 41 Neutral Zone Infraction (2), Defensive Pass Interference (1)
Dont'a Hightower LB 2 2 0 12 Horse Collar Tackle (1), Illegal Contact (1)
Joejuan Williams CB 2 2 0 6 Defensive Holding (1), Offensive Holding (1)
Myles Bryant CB 2 2 0 30 Unnecessary Roughness (2)
Carl Davis DT 2 2 0 10 Encroachment (2)
Justin Bethel CB 2 1 1 10 Illegal Block Above the Waist (1), Defensive Pass Interference (1)
Kyle Dugger S 2 1 1 46 Defensive Pass Interference (1), Disqualification (1)
Daniel Ekuale DT 1 1 0 15 Face Mask (15 Yards) (1)
Adrian Phillips S 1 1 0 10 Offensive Holding (1)
Lawrence Guy DT 1 1 0 6 Illegal Formation (1)
Josh Uche LB 1 1 0 5 Defensive Offside (1)
Ja'Whaun Bentley LB 1 1 0 5 False Start (1)
Christian Barmore DT 1 1 0 5 Encroachment (1)
Davon Godchaux DT 1 1 0 5 Illegal Use of Hands (1)
Jonathan Jones CB 1 0 1 0 Defensive Holding (1)
NFLPenalties.com

Patriots defenders were flagged 37 times in 2020, a number that jumped to 45 one year later (44 called on specific players plus one more on the entire team). The player that stands out is linebacker Matthew Judon, who was penalized a team-high eight times. The Pro Bowler was flagged for a variety of infractions: defensive holding and roughing the passer lead the way with two flags each.

All in all, the 2021 season saw some good and some bad for the Patriots defense. The penalty numbers were no exception.

Special teams

2021: Special teams penalties

Player Position Total penalties Accepted Declined/Offsetting Penalty yards Penalties
Player Position Total penalties Accepted Declined/Offsetting Penalty yards Penalties
Brandon King LB 3 3 0 29 Offensive Holding (1), Unnecessary Roughness (1), Defensive Offside (1)
Chase Winovich LB 1 1 0 10 Offensive Holding (1)
Cody Davis S 1 1 0 10 Offensive Holding (1)
Matthew Slater WR 1 1 0 6 Unsportsmanlike Conduct (1)
Joe Cardona LS 1 1 0 5 False Start (1)
NFLPenalties.com

The Patriots’ special teams unit had a rough 2021 season, and the penalty count — 17 were called against the group — was no exception. Fo comparison, the 2020 kicking game group was flagged only 12 times.

Linebacker Brandon King led the group with three penalties called against him. The veteran was flagged for holding, offsides and one unnecessary roughness call.