The Denver Broncos are currently tied with the Seattle Seahawks for the most penalties in the NFL. In just five games, they have recorded 44, averaging more than eight per game.

Broncos Country came into the season knowing there would be some growing pains with this team, with a new head coach in Nathaniel Hackett, but nobody predicted the penalty severity.

The first two weeks of this season were so disastrous that they set a franchise record for penalties through two games with 25. Those penalties cost the team a combined 206 yards. 

Denver’s biggest culprit this season has been Garett Bolles, who has the fourth most penalties of any player in the league. It’s reminiscent of his first three seasons in the NFL, in which he totaled 32. By 2020, he was able to change his narrative by only committing ten through the next two years and being one of the most dominant left tackles in the league. Unfortunately, 2022 has seen a return to form as he has already committed five through five games. His five penalties have cost the team an average of eight yards a game. 

On top of that, Bolles suffered a broken leg in last week’s loss to the Indianapolis Colts and will be out for the rest of the season. 

Despite a losing record, a long list of injuries and many frustrations, there is a silver lining to the penalty situation.  

Over the last three weeks, they’ve drastically reduced their penalty stats committing only 19 and costing them only 129 yards. That’s 6.3 per game, down from 12.5 per contest to start the season.

Losing Bolles will undoubtedly hurt the team, but one area it won’t hurt is regarding penalties. Some of the decline in line play in the wake of his absence could be negated by the team taking fewer penalties.

Next up is the Los Angeles Chargers, who have committed only around half the number of the Broncos with 25. 

The Broncos’ offense is not nearly efficient enough to compensate for the self-inflicted wounds, especially against a team as strong as the Chargers. The vast number of injuries will make it hard for this already struggling team to improve. However, if they can continue the current pattern of lowering their penalties, they can help offset those issues.

Denver (2-3) faces the Chargers (3-2) in LA on Monday Night Football. Kickoff is set for 6:15 p.m. MT on ESPN and locally on Denver’s Channel 7.