Is there a relationship between penalty discipline and winning? Here are the ten least penalized teams in the NFL this year:
There seems to be some relationship between penalties and winning. Five of the ten teams on this list are in the playoffs or in the running for a playoff spot. You can also see the hands of Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick, as four members of that coaching tree -- Belichick himself, Tony Sparano, Todd Haley and Eric Mangini -- appear on this list. (Anybody want to venture a guess why the list is so skewed towards the AFC? Eight of the ten teams come from that conference.)
But check this out. There are the ten most penalized teams this year:
What's going on here? There are four guaranteed division winners here, two more teams guaranteed playoff berths and a seventh -- the Ravens -- which enters Sunday knowing it will advance with a win over the Raiders.
The dirty teams are arguably performing better, or certainly no worse, than the saintly ones.
Something strange is afoot at the NFL Circle K.