Not a lot of week-to-week change in the Discipline Index, the 33rd Team’s measure of how few — or how many — mistakes NFL teams are making. For the second straight week, the Houston Texans rank No. 1. Fueling the Texans’ status is the fact that they only commit 33.4 penalty yards per game, fewest in the league in 2020.
The Discipline Index takes into account penalties, penalty yards and turnovers. While the 2-6 Texans give away the fewest penalty yards, the New England Patriots (3-5) are the only team to average fewer than 4 penalties per game (3.3). The Texans and Patriots are the only teams among the top nine in the Discipline Index with a losing record.
Only five teams average fewer than one turnover per game, and four of them are in the top 11 here: Green Bay, Tennessee, Kansas City and Atlanta, The fifth, New Orleans, ranks 23rd due to the fact they are committing 72.6 penalty yards per game. That’s dead last in the NFL — nearly 10 yards more than the next-worst team (Chicago, 63.4). Still, the Saints were committing more than 90 yards per game earlier this season, so the NFC’s current No. 1 seed is making some strides in this area.
Here are the complete Discipline Index rankings through nine weeks of the season: