Sunday, January 11, 2009

Referee Bill Leavy and the Chargers-Steelers Playoff Game

Now that the game is underway, it looks like Bill Leavy is the referee for the NFL playoff game between the San Diego Chargers and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Basic Statistics
First, some basic statistics. Rankings are out of 17 NFL referee crews.

Total penalties accepted: 10.7 (11th), 12.1 in 2007
Total yards: 83 (11th), 94 in 2007
Yards per penalty: 7.8 (10th), 7.7 in 2007
% penalties on visitors: 51% (7th), 56% in 2007
% penalty yards on visitors: 49% (7th), 54% in 2007
Total points scored: 50.2 (2nd), 41.5 in 2007
Visitors points: 24.2 (1st), 21.0 in 2007
Home points: 26.0 (3rd), 20.5 in 2007
% home win rate: 60% (tied for 7th through 10th), 45% in 2007

So what's striking is that his game had lots of points scored (2nd highest for total points, highest for visiting teams, 3rd highest for home teams). Yet home teams scored more than visiting teams overall and won 60% of the games, which is roughly middle of the pack.

San Diego has seen Bill this season in a week 6 win over the New England Patriots 30-10. Pittsburgh has not seen Bill this season.

Analyzing Won-Loss Records of Bill's Games
Steelers have 4 more regular season wins than the Chargers. When the home team had more wins (excluding the game Bill covered) in the regular season, the home team went 5-1. Specifically, +11 (win), +6 (win), +6 (win), +3.5 (win), +1 (loss), +1 (win).

By the way, when the home team was equal, the home team went 1-0, and when the home team had a worse record, the home team went 3-5.

Another way to look at it is that the team that had the better record went 10-4 in Bill's games in the regular season.

Analyzing Net Points Records of Bill's Games
The Steelers are +1.0 in net points over the Chargers.
Home teams with more than 1.0 in net points advantage went 5-0.
Home teams with 0.7 net points advantage went 1-1. (Vikings 34-14 Bears; Jets 17-24 Dolphins)
Home teams with between +0.5 and -0.5 advantage went 2-0
Home teams with -1.0 or worse went 1-5.
There is more of a correlation between the net points and the final scoring margin in Bill's games than the won-loss records.


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