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Bills finish 10th in penalties against

By Jay Skurski

The Buffalo Bills did not have a major problem with penalties in 2012.

The team finished 10th in the league in called penalties against, with 114. That’s slightly better than the league average of 117. The penalties did, however, cost the Bills 871 yards. That total finished in the bottom half of the NFL, at 19th.

The two most penalized Bills were their top two draft picks. Cornerback Stephon Gilmore had 13 penalties accepted against him (one was declined), accounting for 126 yards and 12 first downs against the team.

Left tackle Cordy Glenn was charged with 10 penalties (one was declined) that cost the Bills 65 yards and stalled five drives. Next on the list were blocking tight end Lee Smith (six penalties, all accepted) and defensive tackle Kyle Williams (six penalties, all accepted).

Rookie cornerback Ron Brooks, right tackle Erik Pears and left guard Andy Levitre were all hit with five penalties each. In Levitre’s case, that’s acceptable considering he took every single offensive snap of the year. Brooks and Pears, meanwhile, each missed half the season with injuries.

The Bills were whistled for 28 false starts, which was the second most in the league. The team also took 18 holding penalties, and 12 defensive pass interference calls.

The least-penalized team in the league was Atlanta, which had 69 accepted penalties for 430 yards. The most-penalized team was St. Louis, with 150 penalties (for 978 yards). Baltimore’s 130 penalties cost the most in terms of yardage, at 1,127.

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |