Phillips might have a point. Offensive players are often rewarded for falling down. Defensive backs have had to adjust.
"No question it's different than when I first came into the league," Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey told Legwold. "You could do things 10 years ago, you can't do now. They want points, they want receivers to get the ball. You have to adjust, but I'd say they're getting what they want."
The numbers back up Bailey. More points were scored in Week 15 than any other in NFL history. More touchdowns were scored in Week 14. And pass interference, defensive holding and illegal contact penalties are up.
There are 1.75 of those penalties called per game this season, up significantly from 1.5 in 2011 and 1.4 in 2009.
We've always though that offenses underuse the "throw it deep and hope for a penalty" play, especially late in the game. That strategy is paying off more than ever.