The first Discipline Index of the 2021 NFL season is here, and the top 10 for the opening week is as follows:
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.
While there are many teams that did an outstanding job of playing a disciplined brand of football, one cannot help but notice that the top three teams from the final Discipline Index of 2020 are nowhere to be found, with the exception of the Houston Texans. Both the New England Patriots and the Green Bay Packers, who were among the Discipline Index leaders last season, finished in the bottom 12 in Week 1 of 2021.
It is the undisciplined play of teams that hired new head coaches this past season that steals the show. There were seven new head coaches hired, and four of them began the season playing undisciplined football. For instance, the Philadelphia Eagles, despite pulling out a victory in Nick Sirianni’s debut, ranked 27th in the Discipline Index — largely due to their league-leading 14 penalties in Week 1. Urban Meyer’s debut could not have gone worse as fellow new head coach David Culley got the best of him in a 37-21 victory; the Jaguars had 10 penalties and three turnovers.
Here is how the rest of the Discipline Index unfolded: