In the final Discipline Index of the 2021 NFL Season, the Green Bay Packers finish on top after a strong campaign. The Packers managed to only turn the ball over 13 times throughout the course of the season (tied for the least amount of turnovers in the league) and committed only 69 penalties for 678 yards on the year (1st and 4th least in the NFL in their respective categories).
The Packers truly put on a display of disciplined football as they clinched their second consecutive number-one seed in the NFC. Congratulations to the Packers, and we will see if they can continue their disciplined brand of football into the playoffs after having Wild Card weekend off.
Here is how the top ten of the final Discipline Index looks heading into the playoffs:
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.
While the Green Bay Packers were worth mentioning in the Discipline Index for the majority, if not all, of the 2021 season, it can’t go without noting three playoff/playoff-caliber teams that struggled immensely from a discipline standpoint in Week 18.
These teams were the New England Patriots, the San Francisco 49ers, and the Los Angeles Chargers. All three of these teams dropped at least 6 spots in the final Discipline Index with the Chargers dropping the most amount of spots out of the three with 9 spots.
The Niners were able to make up for their miscues, specifically two crucial Jimmy Garoppolo interceptions, but the Patriots and Chargers both had mistakes that did not help matters in their respective games even if they didn’t directly impact the final score.
For the Patriots, it was Mac Jones’ third pick six of the year, a critical roughing the punter/passer penalty, and a crucial fumble in the third quarter that helped New England to drop six spots.
As for the Chargers, they committed 10 penalties for 108 yards and had an interception while they attempted to comeback from a 15-point deficit. Both of these undisciplined performances did not directly lead to losses, but they certainly didn’t help matters. The Chargers missed out on the playoffs after a 35-32 defeat while the Patriots’ loss to the Dolphins put them down to the six seed in the AFC and in a matchup with the AFC East winners, the Buffalo Bills.
There are a plethora of teams who managed to rebound, in terms of discipline, from the beginning of the season. The top-five teams who improved the most in discipline throughout the season are as follows:
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Up 22 Spots)
- T-Minnesota Vikings & Green Bay Packers (Up 19 Spots)
- Philadelphia Eagles (Up 18 Spots)
- New England Patriots (Up 14 Spots)
Here is how the full final Discipline Index unfolded heading into Wild Card weekend: