Penalty watch: Spikes into top spot

November, 15, 2012
11/15/12
5:00
AM ET
In updating this week's "penalty watch," a few things stand out:

1. Linebacker Brandon Spikes, with six penalties (including declined), leads the team. Spikes picked up two on Sunday -- roughing the passer and encroachment.

2. As for the encroachment penalty, the Patriots have has six of them over their last two games (3 vs. Rams, 3 vs. Bills). More mental toughness is required from those players, as the penalty is a result of a lack of focus more than anything.

3. In the "drawn holding penalties" category, the Patriots' top three players all added to their total on Sunday -- Jermaine Cunningham, Chandler Jones and Vince Wilfork.

The breakdown of the season (includes declined penalties):

[+] EnlargeBrandon Spikes
Jim Davis/Getty ImagesBrandon Spikes was flagged for roughing Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Penalty count
Brandon Spikes -- 6
Alfonzo Dennard -- 4
Rob Gronkowski -- 4
Devin McCourty -- 4
Vince Wilfork -- 4
Ras-I Dowling -- 3
Jerod Mayo -- 3
Tom Brady -- 2
Patrick Chung -- 2
Julian Edelman -- 2
Daniel Fells -- 2
Chandler Jones -- 2
Niko Koutouvides -- 2
Sterling Moore -- 2
Nate Solder -- 2
Donald Thomas -- 2
Sebastian Vollmer -- 2
Danny Aiken -- 1
Kyle Arrington -- 1
Jake Bequette -- 1
Marquice Cole -- 1
Jermaine Cunningham -- 1
Nate Ebner-- 1
Steve Gregory -- 1
Aaron Hernandez -- 1
Dont'a Hightower -- 1
Logan Mankins -- 1
Rob Ninkovich -- 1
Stevan Ridley -- 1
Matthew Slater -- 1
Ryan Wendell-- 1
Tavon Wilson -- 1
TEAM -- 2

Most called penalties
Defensive holding -- 10
False start -- 8
Defensive pass interference -- 7
Encroachment -- 7
Offensive holding -- 5
Offensive pass interference -- 3
Unnecessary roughness -- 3
Illegal contact -- 2
Intentional grounding -- 2
Offside -- 2
Roughing the passer -- 2
Special teams holding -- 2
Special teams illegal block above waist -- 2
Face Mask -- 1
Illegal formation -- 1
Illegal motion -- 1
Illegal shift -- 1
Offside (special teams) -- 1
Personal foul -- 1
Special teams false start -- 1
Special teams illegal formation -- 1
Special teams offsides -- 1

Drawn holding penalties
Jermaine Cunningham -- 4
Chandler Jones -- 3
Vince Wilfork -- 3
Brandon Lloyd -- 2
Devin McCourty (1 defense, 1 special teams) -- 2
Kyle Arrington (special teams/KO coverage)-- 1
Rob Gronkowski -- 1
Kyle Love -- 1
Rob Ninkovich -- 1
Trevor Scott (special teams/KO coverage) -- 1
Brandon Spikes -- 1
Wes Welker -- 1
(two drawn holdings on special teams vs. Rams unclear)

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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