Breakdowns

Week 16 Discipline Index: Discipline May Decide AFC South Title

Week 16 Discipline Index: Discipline May Decide AFC South Title

Heading into Week 16, the Green Bay Packers remain the top team in the 33rd Team’s Discipline Index after escaping Tyler Huntley and the Baltimore Ravens with a 31-30 victory. The Packers were able to stay disciplined enough in this performance to keep their top ranking in the Discipline Index, and they are starting to pull away a little bit from the top competitors for the number-one ranking. Green Bay will face the Cleveland Browns on Christmas Day. 

Here is how the top-ten of the Week 16 Discipline Index shapes out:

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.

After the Patriots’ first defeat since Week 6, the Tennessee Titans had the chance to pick up a game on New England for the second seed in the AFC; however, the Titans fell back down to the three seed after a tough loss at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers, where Tennessee led by 10 on two separate occasions in the first half.

While discipline was not the major reason for the Titans losing this one, it certainly played a role. In this one, the Titans turned the ball over four times and committed seven penalties for 68 yards. Tennessee was also turned over on downs to end the game after Nick Westbrook-Ikhine was ruled short of the first down. The turnovers really killed any momentum the Titans had throughout this one and allowed the Steelers to make up for their offensive miscues with more opportunities. This performance dropped the Titans four spots in the Discipline Index, and they are now ranked 27th. Tennessee will face the Niners on Thursday Night Football in what will be a big game for both teams. 

Another team worth mentioning is the Indianapolis Colts. Indianapolis has been mentioned often in the Discipline Index and for good reason; it has been one of the more disciplined teams in the NFL. The Colts rose three spots in our Discipline Index after only turning the ball over once and committing just two penalties for 13 yards.

Part of the reason for the Colts having so much success against the Patriots in what was a huge game for both sides was their ability to not make self-inflicting plays that could kill any momentum the Colts had. Viewers saw the Patriots make a plethora of mistakes that led to potential touchdown chances getting taken away (ex. A false start penalty when the Patriots had the ball on the 1-yard line, a holding call on a Jonnu Smith jet sweep near the goal line, etc). The Colts were able to play mistake-free football, for the most part, which certainly helped the Colts’ chances at a victory. Indianapolis will take on the Cardinals on Christmas Day where they look to build off of a huge win. 

Here is what the full Discipline Index looks like heading into Week 16: