In the wake of the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal, the violent tendencies of NFL teams have been under the microscope. Players hurtling at each other at full speed for love of the game is fine, but when illicit money enters the mix, there's a problem. Of course, it's impossible to tell which players or teams have put some kind of bounty program in place -- the Saints got caught, but by no means were they the only team to ever try such a thing.
So take this Reuters special report with a grain of salt. Yes, the Oakland Raiders were flagged for the most violent penalties last season. And yes, the Saints were second. But no, that's probably nothing more than evidence that fits the narrative; not necessarily something we can point at and say should have been a red flag in hindsight.
Unlike the Raiders, though, the Saints did not otherwise commit a large number of penalties. As a result, violent penalties accounted for a league-high 37 percent of all the Saints' defensive penalties. The Raiders, with the top number of 88 penalties overall, had a violent-penalty rate of only 20 percent. The league averaged 21 percent.
And now, our own very subjective violent football team power rankings.
T-1: Everyone, except ...
32: The Cleveland Browns
Report via Reuters. And seriously, it's worth a read -- the report is more than just a look at penalties.