The Chiefs entered Sunday’s game against Arizona as the second-least penalized team in the NFL.
They finished Sunday’s 17-14 loss with a season-most nine penalties for 75 yards.
And just about every one of them hurt.
“Nine penalties is absolutely ridiculous for a football team and everything else that went with it,” said coach Andy Reid, whose team had been flagged just 57 times for 456 yards in the first 12 games.
The penalties were spread among all three units — offense, defense and special teams. Arizona was flagged for six penalties for 40 yards.
“We’re usually a pretty disciplined team,” said Mike McGlynn, who was called for holding on a play in which running back Jamaal Charles suffered an ankle injury.
Outside linebacker Tamba Hali was called for a roughing the passer on a third-and-5 incompletion when he was on the ground and hit Arizona quarterback Drew Stanton low That extended a first-quarter drive that ended with a punt but forced the Chiefs to start from their 5.
Tight end Travis Kelce was called for two false starts in the second quarter; and safety Husain Abdullah was called for defensive holding on a drive that ended with a missed Arizona field goal.
In the third quarter, tight end Anthony Fasano was called for a controversial offensive interference penalty that nullified his touchdown catch; and in the fourth quarter, Donald Stephenson, used as an extra blocker, was called for holding; linebacker Josh Martin was called for holding on a punt return that brought the ball back to the Chiefs 15; and offensive tackle Eric Fisher was called for a false start on the Chiefs’ final drive.
“You can’t make mistakes we made against a good team,” said Fasano, who didn’t agree with the call against him. “Turnovers and penalties, however they might have come, you can’t do that against a good team.”
Rookie guard Zach Fulton was called for holding at the end of the first quarter, but it was on a third-down incompletion, and the Cardinals declined it.
“We got penalized at the wrong times,” said wide receiver Jason Avant. “Penalties are rough but whenever they’re in a fringe area, whenever they’re on second or third down, where it sets you back 5 or 10 yards, those are the penalties that hurt you.
“Those penalties in the fringe area that take you out of field-goal range, or penalties where now it’s second-and-15, are rough. It’s uncharacteristic, and we shot ourselves in the foot.”