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The Steelers will commit less than 100 penalties in the 2021 regular season

In the new “30 Scenarios in 30 Days” series, we break down situations which could take place for the Steelers in 2021.

Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the 2021 regular season, but before the real games begin, the team has to head to training camp to fine tune their skills. As we here at BTSC prepare you for the start of camp, we give you a series called “30 Scenarios in 30 Days” which gives you a Steelers scenario every day leading up to the start of camp.

It is simple how it works. We provide you the scenario, reasons why it will or won’t happen, and then our prediction for what we think will take place.

Let’s get to the scenario...

Scenario: The Steelers will commit less than 100 accepted penalties in the 2021 regular season

Number of accepted penalties against the Steelers:

2020: 81 (t-5th)
2019: 111 (t-20th)
2018: 111 (t-17th)
2017: 101 (12th)
2016: 112 (t-23rd)
2015: 94 (t-3rd)

Fewest in a 16-games season: 69 in 2006 (2nd)

Why it will happen: In 2020, there was an overall trend of less penalties throughout the NFL. The Cleveland Browns had exactly 100 accepted penalties against them which ranked them 25th in the NFL. It was believed the teams may have more penalties called against them in 2020 after not having any preseason games last year, but this was not the case. Because of this, it appears there may be a trend in simply calling less penalties. When watching games, especially when it comes to offensive holding, it appears there are times where the officials just simply choose to keep their flags in their pockets.

Why it won’t happen: While 2020 saw a decrease in penalties, 2019 saw where 100 penalties still put a team in the top 10 in the league. Add in a 17th game and numbers should be on the rise for the 2021 season. Applying to specifically to the Pittsburgh Steelers, a new offensive coordinator and playbook, along with the possibility of increased motion, it could take the Steelers some time to settle in to their new offense and illegal procedure penalties could creep up early in the season.

Prediction: Although 100 penalties is a fair goal with the NFL expanded to 17 regular-season games, it can vary from game to game and season to season based on the officials. What is more important for the Steelers is that they are receiving less penalties than their opponents over the course of the season, which the Steelers have done the last four seasons starting in 2017. If they continue to be less penalized than their opponents, I believe there’s a good chance they will not reach triple digits in the penalty department for the regular season.


Check out yesterday’s ‘30 Scenarios in 30 Days’ prediction:

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the 2021 regular season.