TAMPA, Fla. – The Raiders set an NFL record on Sunday afternoon, one they’d certainly rather forget.
They were penalized 23 times for 200 yards in a victory over Tampa Bay.
That’s not a typo. 23 flags. 200 yards. And they still won.
That’s the most penalties in NFL history. The yardage ranks third all-time.
Even still, the Raiders found a way to get the job done in a 30-24 overtime victory at Raymond James Stadium.
“I don’t have an answer for you on why there were so many penalties,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “…We played through a lot of that. I think the great thing is that we played through it and got the win.”
Del Rio can live with the occasional holding call or pass interference penalty. He doesn’t get mad when guys are aggressive. There are other penalties, however, that chaps his hide.
Pre-snap penalties fall in that category. So do illegal formation calls and having too many men – or, in one instance, far too few – on the field.
“Those kinds of mistakes can not happen,” Del Rio said. “The pre-snap things, mistakes like that, the inability to substitute properly – that is unacceptable. When you’re out there battling and you get called for a hold, it could happen. We want to compete and be aggressive so they will happen, but the other stuff has to be eliminated.”
Had the Raiders lost on Sunday afternoon, penalties would be a major storyline. They found a way to win, so the record becomes a footnote to another dramatic victory.
“I can’t believe how many we had,” receiver Amari Cooper said. “It just shows the resilience of this team. We have to work to clean it up. We can’t be a championship team playing like that."