Sunday, January 07, 2007

Wild Card Weekend: Referee Report

Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts: Jeff Triplette. Moderately good news for the Colts -- there are few upsets when Jeff has refereed games this season. Home teams have done close to the league average by winning 53% of the games, going 8-7. The big insight is when you compare the season record of the teams (excluding the game that Jeff covered). When the home team had 3 or more wins than the visiting team (such as KC-Indy today), the home team went 6-0. When the two teams were even or differed by one win, the home team went 1-2. When the visiting team had three or more wins greater than the home team, the visiting team went 5-1. In games that Jeff covered this year, Indianapolis as a home team clobbered Houston 43-24 while KC as visitors got beaten by San Diego 20-9. Jeff's games were only slightly higher-scoring than you'd expect (41.7 total points compared to 40.6 for the teams involved). Postscript: true to form the much-favored home team indeed won, but the total points scored was less than expected.

Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks: Walt Anderson. Bad news for the Seahawks -- home teams have the worst winning percentage for games with Walt than for any other referee this season. Home teams have only won 33% of the games (5-10) where Walt Anderson was the ref in the 2006 season. To help you visualize how bad that is, imagine Washington or Arizona, teams that went 5-11 this season. Otherwise, Walt is fairly middle of the pack, calling slightly less penalties per game than average (12th out of 17), but the average yards per penalty is larger than usual (6th out of 17). More bad news for the Seahawks -- it wasn't a case where the home teams happened to be worse in Walt's regular season games. The visiting teams had an average net point difference of -2.1 but the home teams were better, with a net point difference of -0.3. To put it another way, the visiting teams averaged 7.3 wins on the season but the home teams averaged 7.7 wins on the season. Here's another way to analyze it: in 8 of the games, the home team ended up with more wins in the season than the visiting team. The home team went only 4-4 in those games. In 7 of the games, the visiting team had more wins over the entire season and the home team went 0-7 in those games.

Also, Walt's games are higher-scoring than you'd expect: 45.7 total points rather than 40.5 you'd expect per game. Visiting teams scored 25.1 (you'd expect only 19.8) and home teams scored 20.5 (you'd expect 20.9 based on the teams' offenses and defenses). Postscript: Seahawks buck the trend and win even though they were the home team in a Walt Anderson game! Of course, the final score was extremely close... also, the game was not particular higher-scoring so not exactly as expected.

New York Jets at New England Patriots: Bill Vinovich. Bill started off with an incredible streak of home team wins, but the visiting teams won his last three games to end up with home teams winning 67% of his games (tied for tops of NFL refs this year). When home teams had a better record (excluding Bill's game), the home team went 5-2. Not good for the Jets. Bill's games are lower scoring that you'd expect for the teams involved, 35.4 total points (5.8 less than for the teams involved and lower than you'd expect in 11 of his 15 games). Considering the average of the Jets and Patriots' points scored and allowed yields an expectation of just 38.5 total points and you might say the game might have less than 35 total points when you factor in The Vinovich Effect.

Additional analysis: the net points for the favorite teams have less correlation to the expected results in Bill's games than for other referees, and this trait holds up over the two halves of the 2006 season. This could be good for the Jets, who are considered the underdog. But don't crack open the champagne yet, when the home team is significantly favored, the home team has gone 4-1 in Bill's games. In other stats, Bill is pretty middle of the pack in terms of penalties called (9th of 17 refs), penalty yards (10th), and percent penalties on the visiting team (10th). Postscript: NE kept up the trend of home teams winning with Bill Vinovich, but the total points scored was much higher than expected.

New York Giants-Philadelphia Eagles: Peter Morelli. Relatively good news for the Giants. Home teams only won 40% of Peter's games (the league average is 53%), so that's good for the Giants. When home teams had 2 or more victories than the visitors, the home teams went 3-5 in Peter's games (3-4 when home teams had less victories). Today, the Eagles have 2 more victories than the Giants. In general, Peter calls few penalties per game -- 16th (out of 17) in the number of penalties, 17th in penalty yards, 17th in average yards per penalty (7.6 yards per penalty). For the stat-fiends, the correlation between net team wins and scoring margin is only 0.11 for Peter's games while the correlation between net DVOA and scoring margin is a relatively low 0.344. Peter's games are a bit higher scoring than you'd expect for the teams involved (45.2 total points, more than the 40.9 for the teams involved or the 41.3 league average). Postscript: The Eagles bucked the trend and won even though a home team in a Peter Morelli game. The total points scored was not higher so it did not go as expected.


Anonymous Becky said...

Hi from Texas

I feel that Hochuli, Vinovich and Steratore are the best NFL Referees in the league today. I think they are all HOT !!!!

2:31 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home