Saturday, January 10, 2009

2008 NFL Team Schedules by Referee Home-Win Rate

What if we assumed just for the sake of argument that every referee has a tendency to favor home or visiting teams by the same degree throughout the year. This is not what we really think, but it can lead us to some statistics that we can discuss and debate.

Let's take the home team win-rate for each referee and see which teams had the easiest and hardest NFL referee schedule in 2008.

Using each referee's actual home-team win rate in 2008 and combining that with each NFL team's referee schedule, here are the statistics. Post your thoughts and comments!

Team, followed by expected wins based on 2008 NFL referee schedule:
Carolina Panthers 8.75
Miami Dolphins 8.47
New Orleans Saints 8.45
Baltimore Ravens 8.41
New England Patriots 8.37
Atlanta Falcons 8.35
Minnesota Vikings 8.30
Pittsburgh Steelers 8.24
Philadelphia Eagles 8.23
New York Jets 8.21
Indianapolis Colts 8.20
Tennessee Titans 8.17
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 8.11
Washington Redskins 8.11
Jacksonville Jaguars 8.10
San Francisco 49ers 8.07
Denver Broncos 8.03
Cincinnati Bengals 8.01
Detroit Lions 7.93
Oakland Raiders 7.92
New York Giants 7.91
Houston Texans 7.89
Arizona Cardinals 7.84
Dallas Cowboys 7.76
St. Louis Rams 7.76
San Diego Chargers 7.68
Cleveland Browns 7.65
Seattle Seahawks 7.58
Chicago Bears 7.53
Green Bay Packers 7.35
Buffalo Bills 7.32
Kansas City Chiefs 7.28

If you believe this chart, then maybe the Carolina Panthers and Miami Dolphins are not as strong as their record would indicate because they had favorable referee schedules. On the other hand, the San Diego Chargers, Arizona Cardinals, and NY Giants made the playoffs despite having unfavorable NFL referee schedules. Maybe they are stronger than their records would suggest?

Any other insights if we play along with this chart? That the Chicago Bears (barely missed a wild card spot) might have had a better season with a more favorable referee schedule? That the New England Patriots (barely missed a wild card spot) can't really complain because they had a very favorable referee schedule?


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