Inside Slant: Week 1 penalty report

As promised last week, we're going to take regular looks at officiating data in this year's Inside Slant posts. We won't know immediately what it all means, but I think it will be new and instructive to follow where it takes us.

The chart shows Week 1 penalty totals for each referee crew. The figures include accepted and declined penalties.

There is a pretty dramatic discrepancy between the extremes -- Ron Winter's crew called almost three times as many penalties in their games as did Gene Steratore and Peter Morelli -- but I caution you about making any judgments on these initial figures. The teams involved are heavily involved in a weekly penalty total, and generally speaking you would hope that these numbers will grow closer as officials make their way through the teams.

If they don't -- if some crews go an entire season with outlying numbers -- then we can start trying to figure out the extent to which they are responsible.

Meanwhile, four players were grouped together as the most penalized individuals in Week 1. Cleveland Browns guard Oniel Cousins was called for four penalties, while St. Louis Rams cornerback Courtland Finnegan, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman and Green Bay Packers guard Josh Sitton all had three.