Breakdowns

Week 13 Discipline Index: Streaking Cincinnati is the NFL’s Least Penalized Team By Far

Week 13 Discipline Index

Despite a crushing loss to the Washington Football Team on Monday Night Football, the Seattle Seahawks remain atop the 33rd Team’s Discipline Index; however, the gap between them and teams like the Green Bay Packers and the Cincinnati Bengals is getting smaller and smaller. 

The Bengals, who have the least penalties per game and least penalty yards against per game, are fresh off back-to-back blowout wins. Zac Taylor is running a tight ship in Cincinnati, and it has helped his team to become one of the league’s most improved outfits in 2021.

Here is how the top-10 of the Discipline Index rankings unfolded heading into Week 13:

As a reminder, The 33rd Team’s Discipline Index combines the number of penalties, penalty yardage and turnovers on a per-game basis in order to show which teams are able to play the most mistake-free football in any given week.


Week 12 saw one of the most undisciplined performances in recent memory by two teams in the same game. Even though the Cowboys and Raiders played a Thanksgiving classic, the game will most likely be remembered for the amount of penalty flags that were thrown. In total, both teams combined for 276 yards on 28 penalties. In fact, seven of the 28 first downs the Raiders picked up in this game were off of penalties.

Since 1940, there have only been 13 games where there were more combined penalty yards. Furthermore, this game was the ninth in NFL history where both teams recorded at least 14 penalties. Although the Raiders got a crucial victory over the shorthanded Cowboys, they still have a lot to improve upon in order to continue their march to the playoffs. This undisciplined performance from the Raiders led to them dropping four spots to No. 29 in the Discipline Index. Las Vegas will have a chance to build off of this victory against the emerging Washington Football Team in Week 13.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys are heading in a downward spiral, after losing their second consecutive game, as they now find themselves at the bottom of the Discipline Index. Dallas finishes the year with a 1-3 record against the AFC West with their lone win coming in Week 2 against the Chargers. Also, Dallas has lost three out of its past four games with all three losses coming to teams in the AFC West. The Cowboys have a chance to redeem themselves against the New Orleans Saints on Thursday Night Football.

Another team to keep an eye on in the coming weeks is the Baltimore Ravens. They found a way to win a tight one against the Cleveland Browns, but Lamar Jackson threw four interceptions, all when targeting star tight end Mark Andrews.

Baltimore dropped five spots in the Discipline Index after this outing. Teams are starting to blitz more against the Ravens, leading to Lamar Jackson throwing costly interceptions. It is worth watching to see if teams continue to blitz Jackson more in order to stop this high-octane offense. Moreover, it will also be interesting to see how Jackson is able to handle this increased pressure moving forward. Fortunately for Baltimore, they will be playing the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 13 without star defensive end T.J. Watt. 

Here is how the full Discipline Index looks heading into Week 13: