Saturday, January 10, 2009

Referee Jeff Triplette and the SD Chargers - Pittsburgh Steelers Playoff Game

I don't know for certain who will be the referee in the Chargers-Steelers playoff game but a few people think it will be Jeff Triplette. Let's take a look at the statistics for Jeff Triplette in the 2008 regular season.

UPDATE: Looks like Bill Leavy is the ref, not Jeff Triplette, so let me try to do a new blog post with statistics on Bill Leavy instead. Look for a separate post on Bill Leavy.

Recent history:
2008, wk 17: Cleveland Browns 0-31 Pittsburgh Steelers
2008, wk 7: San Diego Chargers 14-23 Buffalo Bills
2007, wk 15: KC Chiefs 9-20 San Diego Chargers
2007, wk 3: Cincinnati Bengals 28-20 Pittsburgh Steelers

So, the Steelers have more recent experience with Jeff Triplette's crew and this year, Steelers won and Chargers lost with him. But in 2007, it was the reverse -- Chargers won and the Steelers lost.

Home teams went 9-6 in Jeff's games in 2008. (They went 10-5 in 2007.)

Let's take a look at how home teams did in games using the won-loss record (excluding the game that Jeff Triplette did) as a yardstick:
  • When the home team had more wins, they went 5-1. When equal, 1-1. When less, 3-4. In the regular season, the home team Steelers had 4 more wins than the Chargers.
  • Correlation between won-loss record and margin of victory was 0.66
Let's use the net points scored as the yardstick rather than won-loss records:
  • When the home team had a better net points total, they went 6-1, when roughly equal, 1-0, when less, 2-4. In the regular season, the Steelers had 1.0 better net points total per game than the Chargers.
  • Correlation between net points total and margin of victory was 0.78
Total points scored: using the particular teams in Jeff's regular season games, you'd expect 43.9 points per game and the actual results were close: 43.6 total points per game in Jeff's games. The actual results were an average of 20.9 points by visiting teams and 23.0 points by home teams this season. (In 2007, it was 18.2 for visitors and 25.3 for home teams.)

Regular Season Statistics:
Very large number of total accepted penalties per game. Out of 17 referees, he had 12.5 per game (2nd). Pretty large total penalty yards accepted per game at 99 (4th). Middle of the pack for yards per penalty (8.0, 9th) and percent of penalties called against the visiting team (49%, 9th). Also pretty average for total points scored per game (43.9, 9th). Visiting team points per game was 21.0 (8th) and home team points per game was 22.9 (tied for 10th).

The home win rate was 57%, which was middle of the pack, tied for 7th through 10th. (This season, home teams won 57.2% of the games.)

The 2007 Regular Season:
For comparison purposes, here is what we wrote about Jeff Triplette and the 2007 regular season: Tied for 5th out of 17 for best ref for the home team's winning rate (67%). Near the bottom in penalties per game (14th) and yards per penalty (15th) so of course near the bottom in penalty yards per game (15th). 4th-most for percent of penalties called against the visiting team (55%). Middle of the pack (9th) in total points scored per game and near the top (4th) in home team points scored per game. Near the bottom (16th) in amount of penalty yards called against the home team at just 36.8 per game. Tied at the top in the percent of his games in which the visiting team had more penalties than the home team (70%). Overall, home teams did pretty well in Jeff's games during the regular season with not so many penalties called per game -- especially few called against the home team.

Please post a comment if you find this helpful or have questions. Remember, I'm not certain whether the referee for the SD-Pittsburgh game really will be Jeff Triplette. UPDATE: looks like Bill Leavy so I'll try to put a new blog post on him.


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