According to NFLPenalties.com, the Green Bay Packers have been penalized 52 times for 424 yards this season, which is well above the league average. Packers fans won’t be surprised by those numbers, as they have endured through some very sloppy games — particularly first halves — so far in 2023.
How bad is it, though? First of all, the Packers’ penalty percentage is 4.8 percent, which leads the league. That’s roughly equal to Green Bay having an accepted penalty against them once every 20 plays. I say accepted because there are times that teams actually turn down penalty opportunities, too.
From a per-game perspective, the Packers currently are on pace for 7.4 penalties per game, which again leads the NFL. In terms of yards per game, Green Bay only ranks fourth-worst in the league (hang the banner!) with a 60.6-yard average. The teams that rank ahead of them are the New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals.
If you want to look at this from a silver lining perspective, the Packers’ penalties tend to be for shorter amounts of yardage. The team’s opponents have also been heavily penalized this season. Their opponents are averaging 66.6 yards per game in penalty yards in 2023, which ranks second in the NFL behind just the Denver Broncos. Yes, that means that the Packers are actually net positive in the penalties department by about a six-yard-per-game average.
One of the big reasons for this is defensive pass interference, which can be one of the most costly penalties in the NFL, from a yardage perspective. The Packers’ defense has only allowed 22 penalty yards from DPI, the fourth-best mark in the league. Meanwhile, Green Bay’s offense has gained 169 yards via DPI, which is tops in the NFL. For perspective, after the Jacksonville Jaguars (166 yards), the next highest-ranking team in DPI yards earned on offense is the Kansas City Chiefs at 119 — 50 yards short of the Packers’ mark in one extra game. On a per-game basis, Green Bay is about net positive by 21 yards in the DPI category this season, which is one major reason why they don’t rank lower in net penalty yardage in 2023.
On the flip side, the Packers rank near the top of the league in false starts (12 for 59 yards), offensive holding (12 for 118 yards with three declined) and delay of game (four for 20 yards).