Unnecessary roughness penalties were higher in the 2010 NFL regular season than in 2009, and data from past years shows such calls tend to rise in the playoffs.
After so much attention to concussions and dangerous hits — along with elevated fines and threats of suspensions — the first glimpse at how that all will play out in the playoffs comes Saturday and Sunday.
According to STATS LLC, there were 184 unnecessary roughness penalties this season, a 14 percent increase from the 162 called in the 2009 regular season — and the highest total since at least 1991.
There also was a jump in roughing-the-passer calls, from 72 in 2009 to 91 in 2010, STATS said.
The NFL's own data shows a lower increase — 8 percent — in unnecessary roughness calls from 2009 to 2010.