The NFL sent a memo to clubs this week reaffirming its crackdown on taunting and insisting that it will continue until players change their behavior.
The impact of the NFL's points of emphasis typically fade over the course of the season as players adjust and league officials grow satisfied with the results. But the trend has accelerated this season, with nearly half of the total penalties being called in the past three weeks. Overall, there have been 35 taunting flags this season, tied for the most through 10 weeks since at least 2000, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. That includes 16 in Weeks 8-10.
"Appropriate celebration, enthusiasm and sharing great moments with our teammates and fans is encouraged," NFL senior vice president of officiating training and development Walt Anderson said in an accompanying video. "The emphasis by the NFL to discourage acts of taunting or disrespect, when you direct actions toward an opponent or his bench, will continue. Officials are instructed to call fouls on actions that demonstrate that disrespect."