The Jacksonville Jaguars have been called for 33 penalties through their first seven games. Jaguars opponents have picked up 47. That net advantage of 14 penalties leads all teams through Week 7.
No unit for Jacksonville has been more impressive in its avoidance of flags than the team’s secondary. While there have been 120 defensive pass interference penalties called across the league so far this season, the Jaguars have been called for just one: a Week 5 call against Tyson Campbell that was declined by the Buffalo Bills.
“Defensive penalties come with your eyes being in the wrong spot and your feet being in the wrong spot,” Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell said Thursday. “Our guys have done a good job of keeping their hands to themselves and making plays on the ball. It goes hand in hand, sometimes you have bigger receivers, sometimes you have small, quick ones. If your eyes are in the right spot and you play the right technique, you should be able to keep your hands off of them.”
The Jaguars have had plenty of opportunities to give their opponents freebies via penalty. No team has had to defend more passes so far this season and Jacksonville’s last two opponents combined for an absurd 110 attempts.
Timidity hasn’t been the reason the Jaguars have avoided penalties either. The team leads the NFL in takeaways with 16 and both cornerback Darious Williams and safety Andre Cisco have three interceptions each.
“It’s also about not panicking,” Cisco said of avoiding penalties. “You talk about thinking takeaways, if you’re thinking about the ball and you’re not thinking about tugging on a receiver … that type of mindset can help as well.”
The Jaguars were called for 98 penalties during the 2022 season, 18th most in the NFL. They drew eight flags for defensive pass interference with two each on Campbell and Shaquill Griffin and one each for Cisco, Williams, Tre Herndon, and Chris Claybrooks.