Eagles-Panthers had a strange penalty disparity

Getty Images

Philadelphia overcame various types of adversity on Thursday night to win in Carolina. One specific type of adversity came from a bizarre discrepancy regarding the number of yellow flags thrown by the folks in black and white.

The Eagles were penalized 10 times for 126 yards. The Panthers were penalized once, for only one yard.

It’s a bizarre imbalance. As one source with a team that wasn’t playing on Thursday night said, “There are penalties on nearly every play, and it’s just whether they are called or not. It’s can’t be this much out of balance — it’s impossible.”

Well, not impossible, given that it happened. But it’s a fair question to ask. Why so many flags on Philadelphia, and so few on Carolina? It’s good that the Eagles won; otherwise, the disparity in penalties would have been one of the biggest stories of the game. (And some would have argued — incorrectly — that the fix was in.)

The disconnect seemed to be the most obvious in the area of pass interference. The officials seemed to be calling it very tight against the Eagles defensive backs, but not against the Panthers defensive backs.

Whatever the explanation, it’s a strange outcome that could have influenced the ultimate outcome of the game. And it’s something the league should be taking a closer look at in order to avoid future games involving so many penalties against one team, and so few against another.

59 responses to “Eagles-Panthers had a strange penalty disparity

  1. Same officiating crew did this last year against the Eagles in Detroit. Double digit penalties against the Eagles vs 2 against Detroit. That crew is the worst.

  2. Welcome to the world of the Green Bay Packers! When they play at home no one does any wrong in the eyes of the officials.

  3. Strange?…………..no crooked.
    Pretty many non-calls on the Panthers and a few dubious ones on the Eagles.
    But not news. See the Lions game of last year. Pete Morreli’s officiating crew did the same thing to the Eagles……it just didn’t cost em the game this time. That guy gotta go!!!!

  4. It was unreal. Last year the Eagles were dominating the Lions and the same crew started making phantom calls on the Eagles and the imbalance was almost as bad. In fact in the last 4 games this crew has done involving the Eagles the imbalance is 16 to 1 in calls going against the Birds. Something isn’t right and the NFL needs to look into whats going on.

  5. There’s even more to the story than this. This was Morelli’s crew and if you take a look at recent Eagles games officiated by his crews, the same disparity appears. Last year’s Eagles – Lions game, with a similar disparity, was by Morelli’s crew. It seemed pretty clear that something was up when he and a fellow ref were laughing as they conferred on a Rasul Douglas phantom interference call — with no replay shown to fans at home or in the stadium — that put the Panthers in the red zone late, down two scores.

  6. Pete Morelli’s crew has had it in for the Eagles in recent games. They have called penalties roughly 7-1 against the Eagles over the last several games that crew has officiated.

    It is to the point that someone needs to be fired or banned from working Eagles games.

  7. According to NBC Sports Philly’s Dave Zangaro, Morelli’s crew during the last four Eagles games (all on the road) have called 40 penalties for 396 yards against Philadelphia. Against the Eagles opponents? Just eight penalties for 72 yards.

  8. not strange at all if you consider who was officiating the game. Over the last four games that Pete Morelli’s crew has officiated involving the Eagles the Eagles have been penalized 396 yards to 74 yards for their opponents.

    That’s not a coincidence, that’s a trend

  9. I agree with the statement that there are penalties that can be called on nearly every down and it is up to the refs to not throw the flag on tic-tac penalties or at least call it the same both ways. In the forth quarter there was a holding call on the Eagles corner that extended a drive, if you look at the same side of the field but in the backfield there is an obvious illegal hands to the face against Carolina that was completely ignored, and it was obvious.

  10. It is indefensible. Finish a block win a penalty right? You DB hardly Touches a Panther PI…wipes out an INT….Panther half Tackles Jeffrey not a thing. Sorry but the NFL has to look into Morelli, Last Eagles Game in Detroit same crew Eagles 14 Penalties, Lions 2.

  11. Felt like it wouldnt have been that close of a game if the officiating wasn’t so brutal. Difference is all the pressure the panthers could generate was by blitzing. Eventually they got burned. Philly gets it done with their front four. Also, Philly can run effectively enough on anyone. Can was forced to carry the entire offense because there was no Carolina ground game

  12. Welcome to the world of the Green Bay Packers! When they play at home no one does any wrong in the eyes of the officials.

    —————————–

    So true. I watch every Packers game and this is so true. Even TJ Lang (Ex Packer, current Lion) has made comments on the radio about how he gets called for things in Detroit that he never did in Green Bay. The NFL loves them some Aaron Rodgers for sure.

  13. wtfru2 says:
    October 13, 2017 at 11:15 am

    Welcome to the world of the Green Bay Packers! When they play at home no one does any wrong in the eyes of the officials.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Another one obsessed to the point of random outburst. How lovely.

  14. Morelli didn’t even ask Pederson if he wanted to accept/decline the Panthers penalty on the XP. Also the block in the back against Jeffrey was a hypersensitive call.

    Oh well. We’re 5-1, despite dubious officiating.

  15. There should obviously be an investigation in to this but of course, there won’t be.

    Integrity. Right, Roger?

    SMH.

  16. xevious02 says:
    October 13, 2017 at 11:23 am
    It is indefensible. Finish a block win a penalty right? You DB hardly Touches a Panther PI…wipes out an INT….Panther half Tackles Jeffrey not a thing. Sorry but the NFL has to look into Morelli, Last Eagles Game in Detroit same crew Eagles 14 Penalties, Lions 2.
    ————–

    I’m with you on most of the points, but that was PI. He was unnecessarily hitting him well before the ball was delivered. Just to offer something else, Cam was certainly hit questionably several time with no-calls. The slide comes to my mind. He had almost completely stopped on his slide and was hit.

  17. Last night was literally a historically out of whack game in regards to penalties. There had never in the history of the league been a game with one team called for over 100 yards and the other for less than 10.

    If corruption can happen in the NBA, why not the NFL?

  18. wtfru2 says:
    October 13, 2017 at 11:15 am

    Welcome to the world of the Green Bay Packers! When they play at home no one does any wrong in the eyes of the officials.

    —————————

    Packers – 8th most penalties called against them in the league. Top or bottom as you look at it 1/2 of all teams for penalties.

    But, yeah, go on with that delusion.

  19. That’s a typical Sunday in the life of a Raider fan. I swear the refs have some sort of flag ejector mechanism in their pockets. That seems to malfunction when they other team is committing the same penalties.

  20. Vikings fans feel your pain, Eagles fans. At least you won the game. And thanks to Florio for posting this.

  21. As stated by previous posters it’s pretty obvious he has it out for the Eagles. Makes me wonder if he was the “Santa” who got pelted by batteries from Philly fans back in his young days.

  22. Its fixed people.. Just like the NBA!!!!

    Not every game of course!

    Raiders got 23 penalties last year and barely won in overtime!

  23. Same thing happened in the Panthers-Pats game. The panthers had one flag in the 2nd quarter I believe and now none for the rest of the game while the Pats were penalized far more (though most of them were pretty fair…thanks Stephon Gilmore).

  24. Pretty funny how so many comments refer to the same stats yet no two comments have the same numbers attributed

    Human error is just part of the game. If you don’t like it, watch track and field

  25. I think whenever the refs are so blantantly biased in calling penalties the fans in the stands should all kneel in protest.

  26. aj66shanghai says:

    October 13, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Pretty funny how so many comments refer to the same stats yet no two comments have the same numbers attributed

    Human error is just part of the game. If you don’t like it, watch track and field
    ———————–
    Just like the NBA right? Fool

  27. I don’t know why Mike F. would say that people who think “the fix is in” are incorrect – how can he be sure? There are crooked politicians, plumbers, priests, doctors, lawyers, contractors, car dealers – and NBA refs. Why is it impossible for NFL officials to also be corrupt?

  28. aj66shanghai says:
    October 13, 2017 at 12:25 pm
    Pretty funny how so many comments refer to the same stats yet no two comments have the same numbers attributed

    Human error is just part of the game. If you don’t like it, watch track and field

    Here you go. Source:
    Last 4 games:
    – Last night v Panthers (Win, penalties 10 – 1
    – Oct 9, 2016 vs Lions (Loss, penalties 14 – 2)
    – Dec 6, 2015 vs Pats (Win, penalties 8 – 3)
    – Sep 29, 2013 vs Broncos (Loss, penalties 8 – 2)

  29. How many times was Wentz hit after the whistle last night, including what appeared to be a spear by a Panther DL/LB? It’s way past time for Morelli to be put out to pasture. He is not good at his job, not by a long shot. He should have been fired after the Dallas/Detroit playoff game where they called PI on Dallas (clearly the correct call), only to pick up the flag without explanation to the crowd or fans at home. Next play, Stafford gets strip sacked ending the game. Does Morelli have mafia ties? Seriously, what is his deal? Is he the NFL’s version of Tim Donaghy?

  30. “The disconnect seemed to be the most obvious in the area of pass interference. The officials seemed to be calling it very tight against the Eagles defensive backs, but not against the Panthers defensive backs.”

    Was it the same team that called the Pats game last week? That description sounds very familiar.

  31. Panthers are lowest penalized team at home this year. Almost half as much as the next lowest team. They get flagged twice as much per game away than at home.

  32. Citing how frequently Green Bay is flagged at home is hilarious.

    The throwaway flags at the ends of games to make it appear that the game was called on the level is a common practice there.

  33. wiitrainingcamp says:
    October 13, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    The officiating was so lopsided that it’s all the talk on Philly talk radio this morning… and the Eagles won the game.

    ———————

    that head ref morelli has a personal beef with that city for some reason and/or the team

  34. Same as in the panthers/patriots game. Something like 8 penalties on NE and 1 against Carolina. These games are ddcided each week on Park Ave.

  35. Should never have made these idiot refs full time. Within the next 10 years, the league will eliminate on field refs and all calls will be handled remotely. Referees in the NFL are obsolete and something has to change.

  36. Even though there was no apparent whistle on the play, that hit on Cam Cheating when he was decked on a fake penalty was so delicious.

    I will give the Philthydelphia Football team credit – they showed no respect to the clown Cam Cheating and they repeatedly pounded him all night!

    The NFL does have a problem with incompetent refs – Hockuli, Jeffie Sue Triplette, and Jerome Boogers – now we have Morelli which apparently is paid off to skew calls. There were obvious Carolina Paper Tiger calls that weren’t made. Morelli could be a hater of teams and punishes them without being paid. But I doubt he’ll skew games for free like he did last night.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!