Penalty watch: Flags not hurting Patriots

Every Thursday, we'll explore the New England Patriots' penalty breakdown in comparison with the team's next opponent, while adding a few league-wide stats.

Patriots' total penalties: 48

Patriots' total accepted penalties: 41 (fifth-fewest on average/9 games)

Panthers' total accepted penalties: 41 (sixth-fewest on average/8 games)

NFL team with fewest accepted penalties (on average): Colts, with 3.875 per game

NFL team with most accepted penalties: Jets, with 8.44 per game

Most frequent Patriots penalty: Offensive holding (10) and false start (9)

Key stat: Seven special teams penalties in the last three games, to go along with some coverage struggles.

Most penalized Patriots: G Logan Mankins (6), CB Kyle Arrington (3), G Marcus Cannon (3), WR Julian Edelman (3), DE Chandler Jones (3), LT Nate Solder (3)

Summary: Bill Belichick has to be generally pleased with where the Patriots rank in terms of penalties, as only four teams have had fewer of them. This reflects a well-coached team playing with discipline more often than not. ... Mankins, the left guard, was penalized twice on Sunday, for clipping and a false start; he has been penalized twice the amount of any other Patriot. ... A look ahead to the team's next opponent, the Panthers on Nov. 18, shows that they also are not being hurt consistently by penalties.