Stacked Bar Chart of NFL Penalty Yards and Yards Per Penalty by Call

Most Costly NFL Penalties

Offensive holding cost NFL teams 6,159 yards, the most of any penalty in 2014, with an average impact of 10 yards per call.  Defensive pass interference cost teams 3,890 yards, but averaged an impressive 18 yards per call.  The ubiquitous false start call was the third most costly penalty, at only 5 yards per call.  Overall 10 different penalty types accounted for 75% of the total penalty yardage in 2014.  This data is summarized in the chart below and is based on data found at  Visit their site for a full breakdown of penalties by year and team and type.


The 100% stacked bar chart, with a single bar, segments a key performance indicator (like penalty yardage) into its categories.  Since there were many smaller categories, I grouped them into other to focus attention on the most costly penalties.  I added a data column with the penalty names so that I could easily show, names, values and percentages for each penalty.  I also added a data column with yardage per penalty as this is another important determinant of the impact of a penalty.  Here is the chart in SlideShare to download and edit using Mekko Graphics: