On Sunday, in a 30-24 overtime win in Tampa Bay, the Oakland Raiders were flagged for 23 penalties, which cost them an even 200 yards. That was the most penalties for one team in a single game since at least 1940 and the third-most penalty yards that any one team has racked up in a single game in that same span. The Raiders have a history of committing penalties — the franchise led the NFL in that category for four straight years in the nineties and set the single-season record with 163 back in 2011 — so adding the single-game record to that legacy is at least in character. Heck, Oakland was already leading the NFL in penalties this season even before that, um, historic performance in Week 8. But what if I told you that the same factors that are driving the Raiders’ penalties are likely driving their surprising success?The Raiders have the second-most penalties through eight games of any team since 1940, but Oakland is also 6-2. That may not be as surprising as it appears, because committing more penalties isn’t as strongly correlated with losing as conventional wisdom suggests. I looked at all team penalties through Week 8 of each season since the NFL’s realignment in 2002, and there was only a slightly negative correlation between penalties and winning (i.e., the more penalties a team has, the lower its winning percentage).1The correlation coefficient between winning percentage and penalties over that span was just -0.10. And that correlation is actually positive for the 2016 season, thanks to the Bay Area teams: Not only is Oakland an outlier, but also the 1-6 49ers have the fewest penalties in the NFL this season. And while most coaches stress to players that they shouldn’t incur penalties, the relationship between penalties and success (as we can see from the chart) isn’t as clear as you might think. Sure, on any given play, a penalty is bad, but penalties are also associated with aggressive, physical play, and those can be very good things on the plays where penalties aren’t called.Of Oakland’s 103 total penalties (both accepted and declined), a league-high 53 (51 percent) of them have come on offense. (On average this season, 49 percent of all penalties have come on offense, compared to 37 percent on defense and 14 percent on special teams.) Of Oakland’s offensive penalties, 18 have come from offensive holding, which is tied for first with the Patriots (who have only played seven games), and 14 have come via false start, second in the league to Washington’s 16. And Oakland’s offense has been flagged a league-high four times for unnecessary roughness, with tackle Donald Penn owning two of those infractions.So far this season, 45 players have been flagged for at least five offensive penalties, and six of those players are Raiders: backup lineman Vadal Alexander (8), followed by Penn (7), center Rodney Hudson (6), guard Gabe Jackson (6), WR Michael Crabtree (5) and guard Kelechi Osemele (5). In total, Raiders offensive linemen have been flagged for 33 penalties, nine more than any other offensive line in the league.That’s a lot of penalties, but what that analysis is missing is what’s happening on all the plays that don’t result in a penalty — especially if those plays include ones where the refs don’t throw a flag because they’ve already thrown so many. And Oakland’s offensive line is doing really, really well on those plays. No team has spent more 2016 salary cap dollars on its offensive line than the Raiders, and it’s paid off: Oakland has been sacked on just 2.7 percent of all pass plays this season, the lowest rate in the NFL. And Oakland’s top three running backs — Latavius Murray, DeAndre Washington, Jalen Richard — aren’t highly-regarded and weren’t drafted with premium picks, but they have rushed 156 times for 763 yards and 6 touchdowns, averaging 4.9 yards per attempt. The Oakland line is getting things done.We don’t often think of offensive linemen as boom-bust players, but that’s what the Raiders have created under OL coach Mike Tice. Because while that unit has been responsible for an enormous share of the team’s penalties, on most other plays, it’s operating as one of the best units in football. The Raiders have talked about building a nasty, physical, aggressive offensive line — and for better or worse, that’s exactly what they’ve done.CORRECTION (Nov. 2, 12:34 p.m.): An earlier version of the chart in this article misstated the time period of the penalties and win percentages shown in light purple. The correct time period is 2002 to 2016, not 2012 to 2016.
WhatsApp Payments available in IndiaIBTimes India/Sami KhanThe NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) on February 17, has given nod for the preliminary launch of the WhatsApp Payments in India. The corporation has approved the beta testing of the UPI-based service but only for one million users and with a restricted transaction limit.The popular messaging app has already started rolling out the new feature in India for a limited number of users.The NPCI said in an official statement: “Currently, the NPCI has given its consent to roll out WhatsApp BHIM UPI beta launch with the limited user base of one million and low per transaction limit. Four banks will join the multi-bank BHIM UPI model in phases (in the coming weeks) and full feature product shall be released after the beta test is successful.” WhatsApp Payments: List of banksIBTimes India/Sami KhanThe NPCI, according to its official website, “is an umbrella organization for operating retail payments and settlement systems in India.” It has been working to make the digital payments smoother in the country since it was formed in 2009. It is also responsible for rolling out globally recognized products like BHIM-UPI (Bharat Interface for Money).With the introduction of UPI service, WhatsApp will face a number of competitors in the Indian market like Paytm, PhonePe, Tez, and others. In a recent statement, Paytm Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma was critical of WhatsApp’s upcoming UPI payment service and raised some safety concerns. Nice ! I hope full obligation of BHIM like security and tx data sovereignty too will be implemented before full launch. https://t.co/P8vjvkzkgz— Vijay Shekhar (@vijayshekhar) February 16, 2018Sharma stated that the WhatsApp’s UPI payment system is not secure as it does not comply with the existing guidelines. He also alleged that Facebook was “killing beautiful open UPI system with its custom close garden implementation.”WhatsApp has over 250 million active users in India. WhatsApp Payments integration is expected to help many small-scale merchants and normal users to send and receive money through digital transactions.
Kolkata: Soon after addressing an election rally in the South Kolkata Lok Sabha constituency, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee gave a brief interview to The Wire’s founding editor Siddharth Varadarajan and its Calcutta-based contributor Himadri Ghosh.In the interview, she discussed the possible outcomes of the election on May 23, accused Narendra Modi of political vendetta and also touched upon how the BJP’s so-called growth will come down drastically once they are ousted from the Centre. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataExcerpts: SV: Well, the 2019 election, Narendra Modi has been the face, the voice, the name that has dominated the campaign. And you have been perhaps the most forthright in directly challenging him. You say no matter what happens, Narendra Modi must go. Why do you believe that this one person’s ouster is so crucial to this election? MB: He’s not only a fascist, he’s an egoist. He has tremendous political vendetta. I used some harsh words today. But they are not harsh words. They are politically strong, bold words. Because, you know, we respect our great son of the soil, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, very much. We are celebrating 200 years this year. But the goons, the BJP goons from the Amit Shah rally, they have totally destroyed Vidyasagar’s statue… These type of people must go from this country. They must go from politics. The politician should know what is politics. Politics means sacrifice. Politics means dedication, determination, devotion. But if you think politics means “goondaism”, hooliganism, fair enough… In a democracy, everybody has the right to speak. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateSV: Does it worry you that in Bengal, in a very short duration of time, the BJP has emerged as your principal challenger? The Left does not seem to be in the race. MB: Not at all, somebody will be the opposition. In a democratic setup, somebody will be ruling party, somebody will be opposition. I may be number one, but they may be number two, three or four. It is the CPM’s business, that CPM’s goons, they are joining the BJP, because the BJP is giving… to them also. So it is their matter. I don’t mind who will come as the second person. I will certainly try that I must be first. HG: Madam, we have seen for some time, people from the CPM are now marching under the BJP flag. Who do you blame for this? MB: I am telling you, this is not growth. This is absolutely not growth. This happens when the BJP is in power in the Centre. They use the situation. There, they work through agencies, so there is some growth. If the BJP is not in power, then this growth will die in a second. It is temporary. SV: In the event that the BJP falls short by a significant number… how will you… MB: We will not support the BJP. SV: Under any circumstances? MB: No.