Penalty watch: Pats in middle of pack

Brian Spurlock/US Presswire

Patriots coach Bill Belichick chats with an official.The weekly "penalty watch" remains unchanged because the Patriots didn't play this week, although the team's NFL ranking is on the rise. When accounting for accepted penalties, the Patriots' 39 in six games ranks tied for 17th fewest in the NFL (based on average). That puts the team in the middle of the pack.

This is an area in which the Patriots have been showing improvement in recent weeks, as evidenced by this snapshot of accepted penalties per game:

Dolphins: 7

Chargers: 8

Bills: 8

Oakland: 5

Jets: 6

Cowboys: 5

This week's opponent, the Steelers, ranks tied for 11th fewest accepted penalties in the NFL (41 in 7 games).