Sunday, November 04, 2007

New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts Referee Preview (Week 9, November 4, 2007)

I'll focus on the New England Patriots game against the Indianapolis Colts today because there is so much interest in it.

Various web sites are reporting that first-year referee John Parry is scheduled to referee the game. Let's take a look at John Parry's season so far:

I'm taking the average points scored and average points allowed for the teams in his games so far then comparing it to the actual points scored and allowed in his games. This will be a rough adjustment for the teams that by chance were in the games he covered so far.

After week 8, the expected visiting team points would be 20.7 per game and the expected home team points would be 20.9 per game. The actual averages are 20.3 for visiting teams and 21.1 for home teams. So there is only a slight +0.6 points per game advantage to the home teams in the games John Parry has covered.

Using that rough measure, the Patriots would be expected to score 28 points and Indianapolis 23.9 points, so that's a 4.0 expected advantage to the visiting Patriots.

John Parry has not had games where the visiting team would have a 4 point expected advantage using that measure. Let's take a look at his seasons, sorted by expected home advantage:

Atlanta at Minnesota (week 1): home team had 3.7 point expected advantage and won by 21.
Cincinnati at KC (week 6): home team had 1.6 expected advantage and won by 7.
New York Jets at Buffalo (week 4): home team had 1.4 advantage and won by 3.
Houston at Carolina (week 2): home team had 1.1 advantage and lost by 13.
Cleveland at Oakland (week 3): home team had -0.6 advantage yet won by 2.
Tampa Bay at Detroit (week 7): home team had -2.4 advantage yet won by 7.
New Orleans at San Francisco (week 8): home team had -3.4 advantage and lost by 21.
[New England at Indianapolis in week 9: home team has -4 advantage and we'll see what happens]

So, even though in John Parry's game the home teams have gone 5-2, the home team either would be expected to win using the measure or just barely behind in 5 of his 7 games.

Let's turn to the over/under. Using the same measure to project the expected total points scored, the teams scored more than expected in 4 out of 7 games so far. Overall, teams have combined for 41.4 points per game while the estimated total points using their season totals so far would have projected 41.6 points per game. (For NE and Indianapolis today, the projection would be 51.9 total points.)

Let's turn to referee totals for the season so far:
12.6 penalties per game (6th our of 17 refs with at least two games this season)
94 penalty yards per game (9th of 17)
7.5 average yards per penalty (13 of 17)
52% of penalties are against the visiting team (12 of 17)
71% home team win rate (tied for 3 out of 17)

If you have suggestions for analyzing John Parry's season so far, let me know by posting a comment.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Worst officiated game of the season so far.

6:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

awful ref'ed game. very fishy. should be investigated. This is not a good reflection on the NFL

9:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Refs blew it in so many areas. Off interf, no holdings on Indy till 6min left in 4th, (Addai does not run that good), Fumble no call on 2 yard line, Moorehead stepped out twice and refs blew both calls (first one caused Pats to waste Red Flag), 2nd got a crucial 1st down.....this game was no where as close as the score made it, nor as close as the rediculous commentators (all for Indy till stumped and silent at

9:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps the worst officiated game I've ever seen. They could have taken some players off the Colts developmental squad, sent them out as the officiating crew, and the officiating would have been less biased.

After seeing this game, all I can think is "Donaghy."

10:14 PM  
Blogger Odin! said...

I've never seen so many huge and bogus calls in any NFL game ever. 1 big call a game like that is reasonable... but still too much, but 3-4? How is it defensive interference when the defensive player is being tackled? Also the one called on Moss for a "push off" was the Indy player holding Moss' hand to his chest...

1:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After the two bogus interference calls, the coin flipping "drop" and the other questionable calls. I was upset by the fact that the yellow flag was thrown a good three seconds after the catch was complete.

Is it just me or are the officials getting worse ?

9:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are there any good articles on this from the main stream press?

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The officiating in this game was egregious. Terrible pass interference calls against the Pats, non-calls for the Colts. The refs were wearing Blue & White

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree with everything above. This was the worst game I've seen ref'd. The offensive pass interference call on Moss was the worst. How about the no pass interference call where Kevin Faulk was being held? The two defensive pass interference calls were bogus too. This game needs to be investigated! Notice that the refereeing got better when Indy was up by 10. Some calls went the Pats way. The fact is - Indy covered the spread. That was all they needed to accomplish.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Odin! said...

The only good article addressing the issue is here:
Look for point number 3.

An espn blog that took place during the game also cried out about the refing.

9:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NFL Commissioner needs to really review performances by these Refs. This is professional Football. We expect a Professional performance by the Football players, AND we should also be seeing the same Professional performance by the Ref's. Unfortunately that's not what fans are seeing in NFL games today. These part-time Ref's are yahoos that don't even know the rules of the game. The NFL Commissioner should fine them for inappropriate calls. If a player can be fined for late hits on quarterbacks, then Refs should be fined for totally inacurate penalities. That would help keep them much more honest. A lesson they really need to learn.

10:13 PM  
Blogger Odin! said...

Well with the removal of NFL Europe, we are only going to see worse officiating. Why? It was a trainer league for refs as well as European players. They need to do an offseason AA league in the US or something to keep these refs sharp.

10:18 PM  
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