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Bengals factoid: Combined penalty yards

We're back with our daily look at one unique statistic from the Cincinnati Bengals' 2013 season.

Here is Friday's factoid: 1,000

The Bengals hit exactly 1,000 yards in penalties last regular season, tying them with the Denver Broncos for the fifth-most penalty yards in the league. The Super Bowl champion Seahawks led all teams with 1,183 yards in penalties. The Seahawks also were the NFL's most penalized team, drawing 128 flags on offense, defense and special teams last season. Cincinnati had 102 penalties, ranking 11th.

There weren't many penalties last season that flat-out cost the Bengals games, although a strong case could be made that Rey Maualuga's personal foul penalty in the closing minute of the season opener at Chicago snuffed out a potential late-game comeback bid. Had Maualuga not lost his cool when Bears offensive lineman Jordan Mills didn't let go of him at the end of a crucial third-down stop, the Bengals would have gotten the ball back on a punt and had a chance to see if quarterback Andy Dalton could march his offense downfield for a game-winning score on the road.

Instead, Maualuga threw Mills to the ground in front of an official. A first down and 15 yards were awarded to the Bears, who were able to run out the clock on the Bengals, who were out of timeouts. Chicago won the opener, 24-21.

A case also could be made that Cincinnati's nine penalties at Baltimore in Week 10 helped contribute to the 20-17 overtime loss. Neither team played a clean game, though. The Ravens had eight penalties as they allowed the Bengals to rally back in the closing minutes of regulation. A.J. Green's tipped 51-yard "Hail Mary" touchdown catch sent the game to overtime.

Bengals opponents committed just 69 penalties last season. Only Bears opponents had fewer infractions with 66. Because of the considerable drop-off between the number of penalties the Bengals had and the number of penalties their opponents had, the Bengals had a league-high plus-33 penalty margin. Officials called 33 more penalties against them than the teams they played last season. By comparison, the Colts led the league in penalty margin at minus-47. Their opponents were penalized 112 times, the Colts just 65.

Along with the high penalty margin, the Bengals also had a high penalty-yard margin, collecting 308 yards in penalties more than the teams they played. Only the Texans at plus-329 had a higher penalty-yard margin.

Cincinnati has put a heavy emphasis this offseason on bettering its offensive tempo and rushing attack. It also is trying to create a better pass rush. Penalties ought to draw some attention from coaches this summer, too, as they try to get their team to play cleaner games than last season.

Information from ESPN's Stats & Information was used in this report.