As the 2021 regular season comes closer and closer to its end, the Green Bay Packers find themselves pulling away from other teams in the 33rd Team’s Discipline Index. The Packers were able to force 4 interceptions of Browns QB Baker Mayfield on top of not committing many penalties—Green Bay only committed 3 penalties for 29 yards—in a tough 24-22 victory over Cleveland. Green Bay will have a chance to solidify its No. 1 ranking for good in Week 17 against the Minnesota Vikings.
Here is how the top 10 of the Discipline Index looks heading into Week 17:
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.
The Arizona Cardinals are on a downward trend at an inopportune time. They have gone 3-5 over their past 8 games after starting the year 7-0. Arizona’s fifth loss in this eight-game stretch saw their discipline falter enough to drop the Cardinals three spots in the Discipline Index heading into Week 17. Throughout the course of the Cardinals’ 22-16 loss at the hands of the red hot Indianapolis Colts, Arizona committed 11 penalties for 85 yards. This certainly did not help the Cardinals to get back on track after a tough loss to the Detroit Lions among other factors. While the Cardinals have been extremely good at protecting the football (0.9 turnovers per game), they have struggled when it comes to penalties (6.7 penalties per game). Since starting 7-0, the Cardinals have committed an average of seven penalties per game and have had 7 or more penalties in all but two games during their 3-5 stretch. Arizona has a lot to fix ahead of the playoffs and things will not get easier with a trip to Jerry’s World on the docket for Week 17. The Cowboys have the second-most penalties per game of any team, meaning this matchup should be filled with flags.
A team that deserves recognition for its disciplined play in Week 16 is the Atlanta Falcons. They were able to rise three spots in the Discipline Index after only committing 2 penalties for 15 yards and turning the ball over just one time in a 20-16 win over the Detroit Lions. The Falcons are currently only one-game out of the last Wild Card spot in the NFC with a huge matchup against the Buffalo Bills coming up in Week 17. The Falcons will need to continue to play a disciplined brand of football in order to give themselves a better chance against a Bills team that is starting to get into a rhythm. Making self-inflicting plays will certainly not help the Falcons as they attempt to be a player in the NFC playoff race.
Here is how the full Discipline Index unfolds heading into Week 17: