Monday, January 21, 2008

Super Bowl: Giants and Packers with Mike Carey

Super Bowl 2008: New York Giants against the New England Patriots. Several newspapers are reporting that Mike Carey will be the referee. They are taking the angle that this is the first time an African-American will be the referee in a Super Bowl. We're focused on statistics of on-field performance, as opposed to these other angles. Let's take a look at our initial view of some of Mike Carey's statistics from the 2007 NFL regular season.

In the playoffs, the NFL usually mixes together members of different referee crews, so Mike Carey's regular season statistics might not be that important for the Super Bowl. Also, both teams have a bye week to prepare so it's not the usual type of game preparation.

On top of all that, the game is played at a neutral site so it is hard to think that regular season statistics about a potential bias toward or against the home team would play out in the Super Bowl.

Some initial statistics about Mike Carey -- we will take another look at Mike Carey's statistics as we get closer to the Super Bowl and will try to analyze the other members of the Super Bowl referee crew when we find out who they are.

In the regular season, Mike was a good referee for visiting teams. Home teams only won 40% of their games with Mike's crew, which was second-worst of the 17 referee crews.

Mike was 6th (of 17) in total points scored per game (45.0), 4th in visitors' points (23.5) and 12th in home team points (21.5).

Mike was middle of the pack (9th) in penalties per game at 11.8. Ranked 10th in penalty yards per game (90 yards per game). Ranked near the bottom (14th) in average penalty yards per penalty at 7.6. Mike was tied for the highest in the percent of his games where the visiting team had more penalties called than the home team (70%). He is not the only referee where most games had more penalties called against the visiting team yet the visiting teams did well in his games. The same quality of usually more penalties called against the visiting teams yet the visiting teams nevertheless usually winning the games also applied to Ron Winter this year.

New England is more familiar with Mike Carey, having had him in their week 6 victory 48-27 over Dallas and their week 17 victory 38-35 over the Giants. The Giants only had him once, in their game with the Patriots.

So not only is Super Bowl 2008 going to be a rematch between the Giants and Patriots, it is also going to be a rematch with the same head referee -- Mike Carey. In the Giants-Patriots game in week 17, there were 5 penalties accepted for 42 yards against the Patriots and there were 5 penalties accepted for 53 yards against the Giants.

Check back later for more analysis of Mike Carey and -- we hope -- the others in the Super Bowl referee crew. Post comments if you have questions, ideas, or if you find out the other members of the Super Bowl crew.


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