The Tampa Bay Buccaneers currently lead the league in penalties per game, having been penalized 64 times (not including declined and offsetting penalties), according to the seemingly reliable NFL Penalty Tracker -- something that exists because the NFL itself does a pretty terrible job of providing people with this information.
JoeBucsFan figured out that the Bucs are even on pace to break the NFL penalty record at this point, which was set by the 1998 Chiefs with 158. The Bucs are on track to get 170. That's pretty terrible, and a testament to the Bucs' coaching issues -- just like their consistent issues with coverage breakdowns, which Mike Jenkins attributed to a lack of focus.
But the Bucs haven't exactly been lucky with penalties, either. Every team gets some questionable calls going against them in every game, and the Bucs have benefited from a few too. No team has had fewer penalties called in favor of them than the Bucs, though. Just 35 for 290 yards, which has them ranked last and fourth-to-last respectively. On a per-game basis, they're fourth-to-last in both rankings.
That gives them a net of -29 penalties and -243 penalty yards -- that's a pretty hefty penalty to overcome for any team. It looks even worse if you compare it to other teams: the number two team in the league has a net penalty count of -17, and a net penalty yardage of -221. Number three? -14 penalties, and number three in yardage is at -164. No team has been hit harder by the refs than the Bucs this season.
Of course, some of that is the Bucs' fault. No one's forcing cornerbacks to hold receivers and commit pass interference, and no one's forcing those personal fouls and unnecessary roughness penalties the Bucs got against them on Sunday -- none of which were really undeserved. But this is yet another contributing factor among many for the Bucs' 2-4 record -- and a few penalties going their way could have flipped one or two games in their favor.