Raiders key matchup No. 1: Raiders vs. Referees

Raiders key matchup No. 1: Raiders vs. Referees
October 28, 2012, 3:34 pm
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EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the final part in a series that spotlighted three Raiders-Chiefs matchups to watch Sunday, 1:05 p.m. (CBS), at Arrowhead Stadium.Raiders vs. RefereesTale of the tape
Raiders (Silver and Black): Reigning record holders for penalties and penalty yardage in a single season
Referees (Black and white stripes): Feeling themselves after being locked out for three regular-season games.KANSAS CITY -- OK, so was Kansas City linebacker Tamba Hali simply planting a seed or adding water to said seed for the referees when he called the Raiders a "dirty" team this week?RELATED: Chiefs LB Hali calls Raiders a 'dirty' team
Yes, we all know of the Raiders' well-earned reputation, one they actually enjoyed a generation or two ago.But no, this is not to buy into any conspiracies, only to present some facts.This new regime headed by general manager Reggie McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen made a point to address the Raiders' penalty problems after they set dubious marks for most in a year with 163 and most penalty yards in a year with 1,358.And they seemed to be on the right track with just 14 penalties for 102 yards through the season's first three games, all with the replacement refs calling games, mind you.But with the regular refs back, the Raiders, who have also had their bye week after four games, have been called for 26 penalties for 209 yards in those three games.To paraphrase Arsenio Hall, it's one of those things that make you go, hmmmmmmmm.Or not."Last week we had a few more pre-snap penaltiesthose are the ones we totally control," Allen said. "There's no judgement involved in that at all, and those are the ones that we have to try to eliminate to the best of our ability. Some of the things that happen during the play, it comes down to whether the official deems it a penalty or not."A lot of times, (they are) technique issues that we can work on. It's part of what we work on. We try to eliminate those things because it can cost you football games, but they are going to happen in a game."Then there's this: according to an ESPN.com study, no other team in the NFL has seen its penalties go up with the same frequency under the regular refs as (drum roll, please) the Raiders. Having averaged 4.7 penalties with the replacement refs and 8.7 penalties under the regular refs, the 85.1 percent jump is alarming, yes?The ESPN study also found Kansas City and San Diego both averaging three more penalties per game with the regular refs, tied for the fourth-high percentage in the NFL. Denver, meanwhile, is averaging 2.7 fewer penalties per game.But as a wise man once observed, if you wanted to, you could throw a flag on virtually every play in an NFL game.