Fouls are a part of sport whether you like it or not. Some fouls can be more severe than others, and some can be part of the team’s strategy. However, one thing that we can agree on is that when they are against your team, they can be incredibly frustrating.
Here at Betsperts, we’ve used our expertise in sports betting to find out which teams and players have been penalized the most by authorities. We’ve looked at the teams and the players in the NBA and NFL and totalled the number of fouls and penalties they’ve conceded over the last five seasons.
Which NBA Teams Have Committed the Most Fouls?
1. Phoenix Suns – 8355 fouls committed
Phoenix Suns top our list committing 8355 fouls in the last five seasons. Their highest tally of fouls was during the 2018-19 seasons where they committed 1932 fouls, which was the highest number of fouls by any team during a single season, joint with the Atlanta Hawks. During this season, the Phoenix Suns finished bottom of the Western Conference.
2. Memphis Grizzlies – 8216 fouls committed
Memphis Grizzlies take second place with 8216 fouls committed across the past five seasons. The most fouls they committed in a single season was 1900, during the 2017-18 season, where they finished second from bottom of the Western Conference, above the Phoenix Suns.
3. Toronto Raptors – 8199 fouls committed
Completing our top three is our first entry from the Eastern Conference, the Toronto Raptors who committed 8199 fouls over the previous five seasons. In the last five seasons, the Toronto Raptors topped the Eastern Conference once, during the 2017-18 season. This was also the season that the Canadian team committed the most fouls, with 1783, 59 more than any other season.
Which NBA Teams Have Committed the Least Fouls?
1. San Antonio Spurs – 7048 fouls committed
Our saints of the NBA are the San Antonio Spurs, who committed just 7048 fouls over the last five seasons. The Spurs had the third lowest number of fouls in a single season with 1293, which was during the 2020-21 season when they finished 10th in the Western Conference.
2. Cleveland Cavaliers – 7095 fouls committed
The Cleveland Cavaliers take second place with 7095 fouls during the previous five seasons. The Cavs had the lowest number of fouls in a single season with 1188, 100 lower than any other total. This was recorded during the 2019-20 season, which was also their lowest Eastern Conference finish, ending the season at rock bottom in 15th.
3. Charlotte Hornets – 7109 fouls committed
Charlotte Hornets complete our top three, committing 7109 fouls during the past five seasons. Despite taking third place by almost 200 fouls, the Hornets committed a lot of fouls during the 2021-22 season, where they finished 10th.
Which NBA Players Have Committed the Most Fouls?
1. Karl-Anthony Towns – 1147 fouls committed
Topping our list is the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns who has committed 1147 fouls during the last five seasons. His 2018-19 season was the highest number of fouls committed by a single player, with 292.
2. Julius Randle – 1128 fouls committed
Julius Randle takes second place with a total of 1128 fouls committed during the previous five seasons. Randle has been playing for the Los Angeles Lakers since getting drafted by them in 2014. The 2017-18 season was where the no. 30 committed the most fouls, with 274, where his side finished 11th in the Western Conference.
3. Russell Westbrook – 1070 fouls committed
Completing our top three is Russell Westbrook who has committed 1070 fouls over the past five seasons. Westbrook has played for three different teams during this period, joining the Houston Rockets after a long stint at the Oklahoma City Thunder. After a season, he moved to Washington Wizards, and after just one season, he moved to the LA Lakers. In his last season for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Westbrook committed 245 fouls, his highest tally in the last five seasons.
Teams Who Have Committed the Most NFL Penalties
1. Kansas City Chiefs – 578 penalties committed
The Kansas City Chiefs narrowly top our list, with 578 penalties committed, just two penalties more than second place. The highest number of penalties given away in a single season was in 2018 when they conceded 137 penalties. In this season, the Chiefs finished joint first in the American Football Conference.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – 576 penalties given away
The Jacksonville Jaguars take second place in our list, conceding 576 penalties in the last five years. Their highest total was in the 2019 season where they gave away 132 penalties and won just six games all season.
3. Arizona Cardinals – 559 penalties given away
Completing our top three is the Arizona Cardinals who gave away 559 penalties, just three penalties more than the two teams in fourth place, the Cleveland Browns and the New York Jets.
NFL Teams Who Have the Most Yards
1. Jacksonville Jaguars – 5140 yards
Despite coming second in our previous list, the Jacksonville Jaguars take the top spot with 5,140 yards as a result of penalties.
2. Kansas City Chiefs – 5069 yards
Kansas City Chiefs, who received the most penalties over the last five seasons, take second place this time with 5069 yards.
3. New York Jets – 4940 yards
A new entry into the top three is the New York Jets who have 4940 yards from 556 penalties.
Teams Who Have Committed the Fewest NFL Penalties
1. Tennessee Titans – 455 penalties given away
The Tennessee Titans top our list with the fewest penalties given away in the last five seasons with 455. Despite their clean game, the most penalties they had in a season was in 2021, where they clinched the AFC South division title for the second season in a row.
2. Green Bay Packers – 457 penalties given away
The Green Bay Packers take second place with just 457 penalties in the last five seasons. The Wisconsin-based team gave away just two more penalties than the Tennessee Titans, resulting in 3862 yards – the fewest of any team over the previous five years.
3. Indianapolis Colts – 461 penalties given away
Completing our top three is the Indianapolis Colts who gave away 461 penalties across the past five seasons. The 461 penalties resulted in 3989 yards given away, the third-fewest of any team within our range. Their lowest total of penalties was in the 2021 season when they gave away 76 penalties. During the same season, finished second in the AFC South division, and were later eliminated from the playoffs.
NFL Players Who Have the Most Penalties
1. Germain Ifedi – 49 penalties committed
Germain Ifedi tops our list with 49 penalties given away over the last five seasons. Ifedi has recently joined the Atlanta Falcons for the 2022 season, moving from the Chicago Bears where he spent two seasons. Interestingly, since moving to the Chicago Bears, he conceded just five in each season – half of his lowest amount during his stint at the Seattle Seahawks.
2. Jadeveon Clowney – 44 penalties committed
Jadeveon Clowney takes joint second place in our list, with 44 penalties given away. Clowney played for one season at the Tennessee Titans, during 2020, and in this season he gave away zero penalties. It was at the Houston Texans where he was conceding the most, with 13 penalties given away in both the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
3. Laremy Tunsil – 44 penalties committed
Joint second with Clowney is Laremy Tunsil who has also given away 44 penalties over the last five years. Tunsil played for the Miami Dolphins between 2016 and 2018 before moving to the Houston Texans in 2019. In his debut season for the Texans, he conceded 17 penalties, which was the highest in a single season by a player over the previous five seasons. Despite this, he still made the Pro Bowl in 2019.
To get the NBA players who committed the most fouls, we used stats from the official NBA website (nba.com), before totaling the number of personal fouls over the previous five seasons (2017-18 to 2021-22).
Using the official NBA website we found the personal fouls committed by teams over the same time period.
For the NFL teams, we used The Football Database (footballdb.com) to find the number of penalties conceded and the number of yards conceded as a result of the penalties.
For the NFL players we used NFLpenalties.com to find out the total number of penalties conceded by players over the last five seasons.
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