NFL Picks: Discipline to Factor in as Penalties Could Cost One Team a Super Bowl Title

Ross Benjamin

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 12:32 PM GMT

Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015 12:32 PM GMT

This NFL handicapper invites you to read his article predicting the trash talking that will take place in the Super Bowl between the Seahawks & Patriots which may eventually play a role in the outcome.

Let the Trash Talking Begin
Super Bowl week is upon us and let the trash talking begin. Both teams have plenty of ammunition to use on each other, and there will be undoubtedly some bulletin board material available for motivation.

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Plenty of Script to Use
Remember Richard Sherman’s verbal assault on Tom Brady as the teams left the field following the completion of their 2012 game in Seattle? How about Russell Wilson’s ridiculous crying outburst on national television following their improbable comeback win over Green bay in the NFC Championship Game? There’s always Bill Belichick’s game day attire that resembles my apparel which I wear to bed on a cold winter night in Western New York. Last but not least, the overblown controversy of “deflategate”, and the New England Patriots vehement denials of having any knowledge regarding their use of underinflated footballs during the AFC Championship Game. At the end of the day there will be plenty of trash talk material to choose from in the week leading up to the big game, but don’t expect any of the shenanigans to spill over to the field once the opening kickoff takes place. There’s just way too much at stake on the grandest NFL stage of them all.

 

Both Teams Penalty Resumes
The Seattle Seahawks have developed a reputation as being one of the most physical and intimidating teams in the NFL. As a matter of fact, they’ve been flagged for nine unsportsmanlike conduct penalties this season which is the 5th most in the entire league. However, it’s the undisciplined penalties that have little to do with emotion which have plagued Seattle this season. They’ve been flagged for defensive offsides eleven times which is the most of any NFL team, and were called for a league worst twenty-two false starts on offense. The other concern was one that seemed to be a league wide epidemic this season, and that’s defensive holding. Seattle was nabbed sixteen times for that infraction, and only five other teams were guilty of more.

The New England Patriots were the third most penalized team (1080-yards) in the NFL this season. Similar to Seattle, they were whistled for twenty-two false starts this season, which was the third most in the NFL. The biggest penalty concern for New England comes in pass coverage. The Patriots have been called for defensive holding twenty-two times, ranking second most in the league, and were also called for defensive pass interference on nine other occasions which was the third most of any NFL team.

 

Final Analysis
The most surprising thing for me when researching the material for this article, was how undisciplined both of these teams were despite advancing the Super Bowl. You can be rest assured that penalties will affect the outcome of this game  in some, way, shape, or form. The team that can be the most mentally sharp, attentive to details, and keep their emotions in check, will in all likelihood give themselves the best opportunity to win (keep that in mind when placing your NFL pick). My professional intuition tells me that both teams will exhibit a plethora of intensity, and each will refrain from the frequency in which they were penalized leading up to this point.

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