Penalty watch: Pats have 2nd fewest in NFL

January, 2, 2014
Jan 2
8:00
AM ET
Every Thursday during the regular season, the Patriots' penalty totals were detailed as

Patriots' total penalties: 82
Patriots' total accepted penalties: 69 (second fewest in NFL)
NFL team with fewest accepted penalties: Colts (66), Patriots (69), Dolphins (70), Vikings (70), Panthers (80), Steelers (80).
NFL team with most accepted penalties: Seahawks (128), Rams (123), Buccaneers (121), Broncos (117), Raiders (116), Ravens (112), Texans (112).
Most frequent Patriots penalty: Offensive holding (17), false start (12), defensive pass interference (8), defensive holding (6), illegal shift (5).
Key stat: The Patriots had two games this season without a penalty.
Most penalized Patriots: CB Aqib Talib (8), G Logan Mankins (7), G Marcus Cannon (6), C Ryan Wendell (5).

Summary: Overall, this has been an area of strength for the Patriots this season and a big key has been limiting penalties on special teams. The 69 accepted penalties compare favorably to the team's performance the past two seasons when it had 98 accepted penalties in 2012 (9th in NFL), and 80 in 2011 (5th in NFL). Last year, the Patriots were penalized 13 times for offensive holding, so those numbers are up. But defensive pass interference is down from 12 to eight. Linebacker Brandon Spikes led the Patriots with eight penalties last season, but he wasn't penalized this year.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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