Penalty watch: Patriots vs. Saints

(Every Thursday leading off the day, we'll explore the New England Patriots' penalty breakdown in comparison with the team's opponent, while adding a few league-wide stats.)

Total penalties: 27

Total accepted penalties: 22 (6th fewest)

Saints' total accepted penalties: 23 (7th fewest)

NFL team with fewest accepted penalties (on average): Colts, with 3.4 per game

NFL team with most accepted penalties: Jets, with 10 per game

Most frequent Patriots penalty: False start (6)

Key stat: The Patriots didn't have a penalty in Sunday's loss to the Bengals, the first time that's happened for them since Nov. 30, 2009.

Most penalized Patriot: CB Kyle Arrington, G/OT Marcus Cannon, G Dan Connolly, CB Alfonzo Dennard, DE Chandler Jones, G Logan Mankins, LT Nate Solder, tied with 2

SUMMARY:While disappointed with the team's 13-6 loss to the Bengals, coach Bill Belichick pointed to a game played without a penalty as a positive. During his weekly interview on sports radio WEEI on Monday, he said: "Football is obviously a game where you have to make a lot of quick decisions in a small amount of time, and sometimes things happen, guys get in situations and they get called for it. Those penalties are sometimes unavoidable, they’re bang-bang calls. There are other penalties that are due to lack of concentration and we certainly try to prevent all those we can. I understand some penalties are part of the game, but we try to incur as few as possible. The no-penalty situation was one of the things we did well." ... Tony Corrente is assigned to referee Sunday's game between the Patriots and Saints.