In the NFL, not only does it seem like there are more penalties being called than ever, it is a fact. According to ESPN and Elias, there have been 730 penalties accepted through three weeks of the 2015 season. That is the most through three games ever. 2005 was the last time it was close, when there were 716.
But if you are a fan of the Arizona Cardinals, you have to be pleased. They are the least penalized team in the NFL with 17.
They are also 3-0. The lack of penalties is certainly a factor in that.
According to the numbers, the most frequent penalty is offensive holding, which has been accepted 154 times. That is perhaps one of the most devastating penalties for an offense. Arizona has been flagged only twice. There is a reason why the Cardinals offense has been so good. They aren't shooting themselves in the foot.
The biggest thing a lack of penalties tells you is the focus with which the team plays. It is clear this team is focused. They have Super Bowl aspirations. They know what they want. Most importantly, they are playing like it.
Now, lack of penalties doesn't mean a good team. The Seahawks and Patriots, last year's Super Bowl teams, were the most penalized in football in 2014. The Seahawks and Broncos, who both made the Super Bowl the previous year, were the most penalized in 2013. The Ravens, who won the Super Bowl after the 2012 season, were penalized the most that season.
The Cardinals are disciplined. They are playing mostly error-free football. But that apparently doesn't make it more likely to be champs.