<
>

NFC West penalty watch: Seattle NFL's best

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Anthony Becht's critical penalty for offensive pass interference moved him onto the list of NFC West players with at least three penalties this season.

He might not belong there.

"It was one of those things you wish wouldn't have been called," Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said, noting it was a "tough call" and one that prevented the Arizona offense from building on its first-half momentum against the Texans in Week 5.

That was a delicate way of saying Becht might have been wrongly implicated. The penalty turned a 24-yard gain on third-and-1 into a third-and-11 situation precipitating a sack.

The chart shows NFC West penalty "leaders" through Week 5. The figures count declined penalties.

The NFL makes available stats for accepted penalties. ESPN Stats & Information tracks declined penalties as well. Counting declined and assessed penalties, the Seahawks have the fewest (24). Arizona ranks tied for 10th with 32. San Francisco is tied for 15th with 33. The Rams rank 30th with 45. Only the Ravens (46) and Bills (51) have more.

Bills offensive lineman Demetrius Bell leads the NFL with eight total penalties. For all the 49ers' struggles at guard this season, their offensive line has only three penalties, fewest in the league. The Bills' line has a league-high 21, followed by 18 for the Chiefs and 16 for the Rams. Seattle's line has 11. Arizona's line has nine, just below the league average (9.5).