Allen Park – Penalties have been a problem for the Detroit Lions this season. That’s something uncharacteristic of a Jim Caldwell-coached team, but an easier pill to swallow when the Lions are off to a 3-1 start.

The Lions currently have the NFL’s second-worst penalty-yardage margin, at minus-125 yards. They are averaging nearly eight infractions a game. Caldwell would like to see that cut by more than half.

“I know that in terms of penalties, if we’re not at around three a game, then we don’t like it,” he said. “It’s never going to be perfect, but nevertheless. I just think that overall we’re just not as good in that area, and that’s something we have to continue to work on.”

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If trends don’t reverse this weekend, penalties could be an issue against the Carolina Panthers, who enter the game as the league’s least-penalized team. The Panthers have been flagged 13 times through four weeks.

The Lions and Panthers draw Craig Wrolstad’s officiating crew this weekend. The group has been kind to the home team the first quarter of the season, throwing 19 flags against them, compared to 32 for visiting opponents.

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