Despite their 6-8 record, the New England Patriots remain No. 1 in this week’s Discipline Index, the 33rd Team’s formula for measuring how well NFL teams are minimizing self-inflicted wounds via penalties and turnovers. Clearly, the Patriots have been deficient in other areas, getting eliminated from playoff contention for the first time in over a decade.
Ironically, the team that has supplanted New England as AFC East champion is near the bottom of the Discipline Index. The Buffalo Bills, despite their 11-3 record, rank 31st in Discipline Index. The Bills commit 6.9 penalties per game (31st in the league) for 64.1 penalty yards (30th). They average 1.4 turnovers per game, 11th-worst in the league. The Bills face the Patriots this weekend. While Buffalo is the clear favorite, it will be interesting to see if Discipline is a factor in the outcome.
Here’s are the complete Discipline Index rankings: