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.
Indian security force personnel keep guard alongside a road during restrictions after the government scrapped the special constitutional status for Kashmir, in Srinagar 15 August, 2019. Photo: ReutersIndian troops detained a Kashmiri reporter working for a local newspaper in an overnight raid at his house in the Tral area of Southern Pulwama district, his family said on Thursday.Irfan Ahmad Malik, 28, works for Greater Kashmir, the largest circulation daily newspaper in the Kashmir valley. It was not immediately clear why he had been detained.The arrest comes as the Kashmir region remains under a clampdown by the Indian army and police, including the blacking out of phone and internet connections, in lockstep with the Indian government’s announcement on Aug. 5 that it was taking away special status from Jammu and Kashmir state.”The troops jumped over the compound wall of our house last night at around 11:30 p.m.,” said Malik’s father, Mohammad Amin Malik, 57.”We were asleep, they knocked at the door. We opened the door and troops asked for Irfan. He was taken along. We asked for reasons behind his arrest, they decline to say anything,” he said.A spokesman for the Jammu and Kashmir government, Rohit Kansal, told Reuters that he would seek information about the arrest.“I just heard about the incident. We are trying to verify it. We will collect details and look into it. As of now we have no information,” he said.More than 500 local leaders and activists have been detained in the past 12 days of the crackdown.Malik had worked for the paper for the past three years in the restive town of Tral, which is a hotbed of militancy in a decades-old Kashmiri separatist movement.Malik’s father said he was told by an officer at the Awantipora police station on Thursday morning that there were “orders from the top” to arrest his son but the local police did not know the reason. They declined to release him.Wiping away her tears, Malik’s mother, Haseena, told Reuters: “We curse the day he chose to become a journalist.”Both parents spoke to Reuters in Srinagar, where they were hoping to see officials to plead for their son’s release.India’s move this month tightened New Delhi’s grasp over the country’s only Muslim-majority region. It means that non-residents will no longer be banned from buying property in the state and state government jobs will no longer be reserved for residents.
It takes courage to become the voice of the submissive, in revealing the dark side of the man, who has been tagged as the ‘mahatma.’ Neelima Dalmia Adhar, who earlier wrote best-selling novel ‘father dearest’, took a bold step to unravel the character of Mohandas as a sexually driven, self-righteous and overbearing husband, through her book ‘The Secret Diary of Kasturba’. The spellbinding chronicle of Kasturba’s life speaks of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who was sworn to poverty, celibacy and cause for India’s freedom. Completely eclipsed by the man who almost became the God for India’s multitude, the efforts of Kasturba as a wife and a mother went ignorant. She spent sixty-two years of her life juggling the roles of a devoted wife, a satyagrahi and sacrificing mother. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfOriginally written in English, ‘The secret diary of Kasturba’ was recently translated into Hindi and launched during an event at the Oxford Book store. Vinod dua, a senior journalist, held a discussion with the author about her book, the idea behind writing it and her connection with the main character.Talking about her wish to write about a strong woman character set in the pre/post independence era, Neelima said, “Kasturba’s story was very close to my heart. We share a lot of commonality in the sense that we belong to quite similar family backgrounds. Moreover, though I was not directly involved in the freedom struggle, the remnants of the time still resonated in my life. My father was a close associate of Gandhi and my mother led the life of Kasturba. So the cry of Kasturba as a wife of Gandhi was quite similar to the cry of Dinesh Nandani (my mother).” Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”My father was a megalomaniac with six wives and 18 children. When I started reading out about Kasturba, I found some startling revelations of her life. The more I tuned into her voice, the more I heard her cry. I was compelled to create this character which the history has forgotten. Kasturba came easily to me. Moreover the time was right because we are ready to receive the deconstruction of MAHATMA,” added Neelima.She considers finding the documented material on Kasturba as the biggest challenge. Also, she could not just accuse the ‘father of nation’ without considerable proof as it would for sure hurt the sentiments of his followers. Stating the process of creating the virtual character of Kasturba, Neelima said, “I was handicapped. I had a big challenge finding documented material on her. I tried to gather facts from a various book written on Gandhi and thereby tried to deduce the facts to know what kind of a person she was. Based on the facts I created a sculpture and gave it my voice. Towards the end, I was able to find a woman who was fearless, strong and passionate. She did not like what was happening to her but she let her get into the mould of her life.” The book reveals the trauma she went through when the decision of celibacy was forced on her without consent. The mention of the startling incidences about Gandhi’s arbitrariness, the painful phase of living alone without her husband (when he was in South Africa), the feelings of jealousy, insecurity and possessiveness rising out of his closeness with other women like Mira Bai and Sarla Devi – niece of Rabindranath Tagore, everything is indicative of the never ending misery of Kasturba’s life.