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Bengals are least penalized team in NFL

Zac Taylor’s team is disciplined.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Las Vegas Raiders Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Whatever you think about Zac Taylor’s ability as a playcaller, you have to give the man credit for one thing: he’s been successful at getting discipline from his players.

In the head coach’s three seasons in Cincinnati, the Bengals have 93 (2019), 83 (2020), and 40 (this year) penalties. Their ranking in the NFL has been fifth fewest penalties, ninth fewest, and, this year, the fewest amount of penalties in the league.

That’s pretty remarkable. Just as recent as 2018, the Bengals had the eighth most penalties (114). Now, don’t interpret this as a shot at Marvin Lewis. (Under the previous head coach, the team had only 88 penalties in 2016, the second highest total in the league.) Rather, it’s about upending the roster and then putting together a squad that listens and works together.

Now the Bengals will face one of the dirtiest teams, nay, the dirtiest (and sneakiest) team in the league: the Pittsburgh Steelers. While the Steelers sit around the middle of the NFL with 66 penalties, we know that the number would be higher if they wore different jerseys. And even one of their more likelable players, Cam Hayward, randomly punched Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert in Pittsburgh’s last game.

Yes, the Bengals won the last matchup with their AFC North rivals easily, but can they overcome their dirty tricks three times in a row (going back to the Ryan Finley game)? We preview Sunday’s game between the Steelers and Bengals in the video below:

You can also listen on iTunes or using the player below: