Saturday, September 15, 2007

NFL Referees 2007 Week One Report

The start of the 2007 NFL season! Including all games from week one (ending Monday, September 10, 2007), there are only a few trends or comments that we can make. As the season goes on, we will compile more data and be able to make more analysis, especially trying to see trends that carried over from the 2006 season to the 2007 season.

Do refs who call lots of penalties increase the odds the home team will win?
There seems to be a positive correlation between referees that call a large number of penalties and the odds that the home team will win the game. There was a positive correlation in the first half of 2006, the second half of 2006, and the first week of 2007. We'll keep an eye on this as a possible correlation. So perhaps the answer to this question is yes.

Does the rate that refs call penalties carry over to the next season?
In general, it seemed to have a carry-over from 2005 to 2006 so we expect to see this in 2007 also. But strangely enough, it didn't show up in week one, perhaps due to limited data. The strange variation was severe. Walt Coleman called the least number of penalties per game in 2006 (9.3) but had the most in week one (16). Very strange. Bill Leavy had the third-least in 2006 (9.9 per game) but tied for second-most in week one (15). We think the answer is yes, but it wasn't true in week one.

Who are the new refs and who is no longer referreeing?
According to the official NFL statistics, the new referees in week one were Barry Anderson and John Parry. Welcome, guys! Referees from 2006 that did not referee in week one were Walt Anderson, Bill Vinovich, and Ron Winter. Are they going to show up later this season? We'll see.


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