SAN DIEGO - DECEMBER 05: Stanford Routt #26 of the Oakland Raiders grabs the face mask of Seyi Ajirotutu #89 of the San Diego Chargers in an attempt to bring him down in the third quarter at Qualcomm Stadium on December 5, 2010 in San Diego, California. The Raiders defeated the Chargers 28-13. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Stanford Routt;Seyi Ajirotutu
These 2010 Oakland Raiders lead the NFL in penalties. In fact, they may well break the all-time Raiders franchise record for penalties in a single season this Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Jerry McDonald crunches the numbers in the Oakland Tribune, and notes that with 1,199 yards in penalties thus far in the 2010 season, the Raiders are only 76 yards away from becoming the all-time most penalized Raiders team ever. The all-time mark is currently 1,274 yards in a single regular season.
76 penalty yards is not that many for these guys!
One could see it as a sign the team is undisciplined, and that coach Tom Cable, for all his improvements, still runs a sloppy squad.
Or one could otherwise see it as the kind of thing at which Jack Tatum and George Blanda are nodding approvingly from somewhere up above.
Sure, these Raiders will not have a winning record. But they might have a .500 record, and they're not laying down for anybody -- even on those Sundays when they're laying an egg on the field.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who is obviously very experienced at rationalizing counterproductive behavior through sentimentality and nostalgia.