NFC West: Willie Colon
- Arizona Cardinals: Left tackle D'Anthony Batiste leads the Cardinals with five penalties, one more than cornerback William Gay has incurred. Cornerback Patrick Peterson, who had 11 last season, has three so far. That puts him on a similar pace (9.6 over 16 games).
- St. Louis Rams: Offensive linemen Rodger Saffold, Robert Turner and Barry Richardson have three penalties apiece. Right guard Harvey Dahl has two. The Rams rank 18th in fewest penalties with 37. They ranked tied for 25th-fewest penalties last season (131).
- San Francisco 49ers: Offensive players incurred six penalties against the Buffalo Bills. That more than doubled the season total for the 49ers. That figure reflects penalties against players listed at offensive positions on first, second and third downs. The 10 such penalties against San Francisco are tied for fifth-fewest in the NFL. Seattle has 29, six more than any other team has through Week 5. The chart above shows the 49ers with the NFC West's fewest penalties this season. The 2011 figures for San Francisco jumped in Week 6 when officials flagged the team 17 times (15 assessed) during a victory at Detroit.
- Seattle Seahawks: Right tackle Breno Giacomini has six penalties, three short of his total for last season. Six NFL players have more penalties than Giacomini since the start of the 2011 season. Two of them are his teammates (Brandon Browner with 23, a league high, and Russell Okung with 16). Okung has seven penalties this season, two short of his total last season.
Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman have delivered. Both players picked off passes against the Washington Redskins last week. Both have used their size -- Browner is 6-foot-4, while Sherman stands 6-3 -- to great advantage at times.
Browner has gone too far in officials' eyes, however. Way too far. He leads the NFL in penalties with 15, four more than any other player. His total through 11 games already stands tied for the 14th-highest in a full season since 2003, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Browner averages 1.36 penalties per game, putting him on pace for 22 over a full regular season. That would be one more than the single-season record since 2003, held by offensive lineman Chester Pitts. Four more penalties would place Browner in sole possession of second place on the list.
The 15 penalties called against Browner include five for defensive pass interference, three for defensive holding, two for illegal contact, two for offensive holding on special teams, two for unnecessary roughness and one for roughing the kicker. The official play-by-play book from the Seahawks' game at St. Louis lists Browner as the guilty party for what would be a 16th penalty, but that penalty, for a helmet-to-helmet hit, was actually assessed against Kam Chancellor. The NFL corrects such errors within a couple weeks, usually.
Players sometimes change their ways. Browner's teammate, Robert Gallery, had 17 penalties in 2007. He has 16 penalties combined over the ensuing three-plus seasons.
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
The Cardinals hold the 31st, 63rd, 95th, 131st, 167th, 204th, 240th and 254th choices in the 2009 draft. For perspective, I've singled out the last four players chosen in those spots.
Teams have certainly found tight ends at No. 31 in recent years. The Bears drafted Greg Olsen (2007). The Ravens drafted Todd Heap (2001).
In 2005, my first year of NFL blogging, more than a few Seattle fans wanted the Seahawks to select linebacker Darryl Blackstock. The Cardinals drafted him instead at No. 95. They have the 95th pick again this year. Blackstock is the only linebacker drafted in that spot since the 49ers drafted Mitch Donahue from Wyoming in 1991.
Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt was with the Steelers in 2006 when they drafted guard Willie Colon with the 131st overall choice. Colon has started every game over the last two seasons. Arizona could stand to find starting-caliber depth for its line at some point in the 2009 draft.
Whisenhunt was also with the Steelers in 2005 when they drafted eventual starting guard Chris Kemoeatu with the 204th choice, another slot Arizona inhabits this season. In 2001,
the Bengals found T.J. Houshmandzadeh in that slot. Hall of Famer Art Donovan was also drafted 204th -- in 1947.