NFC West Penalty Watch: Week 4

Only the Detroit Lions (44) and Tennessee Titans (42) have committed more penalties than the Arizona Cardinals (39) this season.

Only the Oakland Raiders have committed more (443 to 436) than Arizona since 2007.

This is not a new trend. From 2003 to 2006, the Cardinals committed more penalties (581) than all teams except the Raiders (602) and Minnesota Vikings (588).

My feeling over the years is that coaching staffs can set the tone for penalties, but that compliance ultimately comes down to the players a team employs. Some players commit more penalties than others. All penalties are not the same. Aggressive teams commit more personal fouls. Sloppy teams commit more procedural mistakes. Over-matched offensive linemen commit more holds.

Arizona has been penalized disproportionately for offsides, defensive pass interference and unsportsmanlike conduct.

The chart, backed by information from Hank Gargiulo of ESPN Stats & Information, breaks down NFC West penalties by team and type through Week 4. The numbers include declined penalties. One penalty was not specified.

2010 NFC West Penalty Watch: Weeks 1-4