Through the first quarter of the 2014 regular season, the Pittsburgh Steelers have been penalized 21 times on offense, with 17 of them being accepted.
Another 23 penalties were committed by the defense, with 17 accepted. On special teams, all 10 committed infractions were accepted.
That’s 56 penalties committed with 44 accepted through the first four games of the season. The Steelers almost literally can’t go four minutes without committing a penalty.
In the last game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers alone, the Steelers committed 13 penalties that were accepted, accumulating 125 punitive yards in the process.
This came on the back of a victory that saw the team charged with 11 infractions for a grand total of 91 penalty yards.
Through the first two games of the season, the Steelers had 20 penalties accepted against them for 176 yards.
For those deficient in math, that means that the Steelers have been penalized for 392 yards through the first four games, averaging nearly 100 penalty yards per game.
Pittsburgh has begun seasons slow in the recent past in terms of disciplined play. After the first game, which saw the Steelers penalized 11 times, it was okay to assume that they’d just gotten off to a poor start.
The same reasoning was used to justify the nine penalties in the Thursday night debacle that also accompanied a 20-point loss in the second week.
But after a full quarter of the season, the Steelers certainly have yet to show that they are capable of playing with any sort of consistency in discipline.
Only the San Francisco 49ers have been penalized more times this year than the Steelers, having been flagged for 46 different infractions. Their penalty yardage, however, is second to none, largely due to the number of personal fouls.
The team may be bringing in officials during practice this week to try to help them clean up some of their technique, as well as any misunderstandings the team might have that is resulting in these penalties, but that’s little comfort now.
Until it shows up on the field on a consistent basis, there’s no reason to assume that the team has fixed their discipline issues.
In the meantime, the Steelers continue to rob themselves of opportunities for success on the field by sabotaging their offensive drives and aiding their defensive ones by drawing penalties.