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Laundry List: Bills called for most penalties of season vs. Falcons, flag roundup through four games

The Buffalo Bills were hit with a season-high nine penalties against the Atlanta Falcons in Week Four, six of which came after halftime.

As a reminder, throughout the season, we will review all of the team's penalties from the previous game. Each penalty will be labeled based on its impact:

  • Minimal
  • Moderate
  • Significant

Let's examine all of the Bills' penalties in their win over the Falcons. At the bottom of this article is a collection of the flags through four games in the 2017 season.

Penalty 1: First quarter, 9:08 remaining, offense

Illegal block above the waist – Kaelin Clay

Down: Second and 11

Ball on: Buffalo's 43

Score: Bills 0, Falcons 0

Impact: Minimal

Clay's flag came on a nine-yard LeSean McCoy run that wouldn't put the Bills in a favorable third-down situation. Instead they lined up for second and 17. Buffalo's feature back converted a third and 17 a play later, yet the Bills ultimately had to punt on this drive.

* * *

Penalty 2: Second quarter, 15:00 remaining, offense

Pass interference – Jordan Matthews

Down: Second and 11

Ball on: Buffalo's 9

Score: Bills 0, Falcons 0

Impact: Moderate

Another play in which the Bills were able to get into a third and manageable situation that was ultimately nullified. Tyrod Taylor connected with Matthews for a six-yard gain which apparently came after the wideout pushed off to create separation. Three plays later, Buffalo punted.

* * *

Penalty 3: Second quarter, 14:03 remaining, defense

Neutral zone infraction – Kyle Williams

Down: Second and 6

Ball on: Midfield

Score: Bills 0, Falcons 0

Impact: Minimal

The classic defensive linemen mishap. Williams jumped as Matt Ryan switched up his cadence, which gifted the Falcons five yards. Tevin Coleman ran for 29 yards on the next play, and Atlanta kicked a field goal on this drive.

* * *

Penalty 4: Third quarter, 7:43 remaining, offense

Holding – Eric Wood

Down: Second and 2

Ball on: Buffalo's 20

Score: Bills 14, Falcons 10

Impact: Minimal

Wood was called for his hold on Grady Jarrett on a 21-yard gain by McCoy, which would have brought the Bills out of their own end. Luckily for the Buffalo center, this drive featured 17 more plays (!) and ended with a Stephen Hauschka field goal to extend the Bills lead to seven.

* * *

Penalty 5: Fourth quarter, 15:00 remaining, offense

False start – John Miller

Down: Third and 4

Ball on: Atlanta's 14

Score: Bills 14, Falcons 10

Impact: Moderate

Miller flinched before the snap, which put the Bills into a difficult third and 9 inside the red zone. Taylor connected with Andre Holmes over the middle for the first down, but this was a bad penalty for the Buffalo right guard, especially coming out of a clock stoppage.

* * *

Penalty 6: Fourth quarter, 12:01 remaining, offense

Delay of game - Tyrod Taylor

Down: Fourth and goal

Ball on: Atlanta's 1

Score: Bills 14, Falcons 10

Impact: Minimal

According to Bills coaches, the team wanted to see if the Falcons gave them a specific defensive look. Because they didn't, Buffalo's quarterback let the clock run out and gave Hauschka a slightly better angle for the short field goal.

* * *

Penalty 7: Fourth quarter, 7:44 remaining, defense

Pass interference – Tre'Davious White

Down: Second and goal

Ball on: Buffalo's 7

Score: Bills 17, Falcons 10

Impact: Significant

White had good coverage on Justin Hardy but got a little grabby as the pass was thrown. This flag gave the Falcons first and goal at the one-yard line. They scored three plays later to tie the game at 17.

* * *

Penalty 8: Fourth quarter, 1:37 remaining, defense

Holding – Leonard Johnson

Down: Second and 3

Ball on: Buffalo's 37

Score: Bills 23, Falcons 17

Impact: Significant

This penalty could have had major implications on the outcome of the game. It came on a Cedric Thornton sack of Ryan that would have placed the Falcons in third and 6 from Buffalo's 40. Instead, Atlanta was given a first down.

* * *

Penalty 9: Fourth quarter, 1:04 remaining, defense

Neutral zone infraction – Lorenzo Alexander

Down: First and 10

Ball on: Buffalo's 19

Score: Bills 23, Falcons 17

Impact: Significant

This flag moved the Falcons five yards closer to a potential game-tying touchdown, and also gave them first and 5 instead of first and 10. They turned the ball over on downs four plays later.

* * *

Penalty figures through four games

Heading into Week Five, the Bills have been called for 23 (accepted) penalties. Here's the impact breakdown of those calls:

  • Minimal - 12
  • Moderate - 5
  • Significant - 6

Richie Incognito has been called for three penalties, the most of anyone on the Bills. John Miller and Tre'Davious White have been flagged twice.

The six "significant" penalties belong to Micah Hyde, Jerry Hughes, Lorenzo Alexander, Leonard Johnson, Andre Holmes and White.

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