<
>

NFC West penalty watch: Overmatched players

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Penalty information can augment personnel analysis.

Six frequently overmatched offensive linemen fill the top eight spots in the chart showing the NFC West's most penalized players through Week 4.

The book on Rams guard Richie Incognito says he's a talented player merely needing to control his emotions. He could also stand to control opposing defensive linemen more consistently, and to finish blocks so that Steven Jackson doesn't run into him while charging through would-be running lanes.

The other offensive linemen on the penalty list -- Ray Willis (Seattle), Mike Gandy (Arizona), Alex Barron (St. Louis), Levi Brown (Arizona) and Brandon Frye (Seattle) -- have had their problems as well.

Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo benched Barron in Week 4 after the offensive tackle lined up improperly, drawing a penalty that negated a positive play. Simple mental error? Not really. Barron wasn't on the line of scrimmage because he wanted a head start in his pass-protection drop, an advantage a top tackle would not need.

The Seahawks' Frye and Willis are starting only because Walter Jones and Sean Locklear are injured. Their struggles against the Colts in Week 4 were similar to what the Cardinals' tackles experienced against Indianapolis a week earlier.

Penalties for intentional grounding and delay of game landed 49ers quarterback Shaun Hill on the list. Teammate Justin Smith has two personal-foul penalties. He is definitely not overmatched.