Sunday, February 01, 2009

Super Bowl XLIII: Steelers 27-23 Cardinals

Some initial thoughts on the penalty statistics (without looking yet at the quality of the calls):

The final accepted penalties were 11-106 against the Cardinals and 7-56 against the Steelers (including the meaningless personal foul against the Steelers at the end of the game that tended to even off the figures more than it really was while the game was competitive).

Terry McAulay's games in the regular season were especially good for teams that had less penalties and penalty yards called against them. That held up in the Super Bowl. This goes against the grain of what the trend was for the Cardinals and the Steelers in the regular season because those teams did better when they committed more of the penalties, strangely enough.

The Cardinals did better in lower-scoring games than higher-scoring games. This game was in the mid-range, though, so can't say much there.

The Cardinals did better when there were lots of total penalties called, going 5-1 when there were 14 or more total penalties called. This went against the trend because there were 18 total penalties called.

Let's compare the penalty totals to all the regular season games:
  • The Cardinals had 61.1% of the penalties. Home teams won 51.7% of games with that high of a percent or more of the penalties. Visiting teams won 38.1% of those games.
  • The Cardinals had 65.4% of the penalty yards accepted. Home teams won 51.5% of games with that high or more of the penalty yards. Visiting teams won 40.8% of those games.
Looking at the quality of the calls made (not the statistics):
  • On the James Harrison interception return for a TD, should the referees have called an illegal block in the back? (Another question is why the players on the sideline stand so close to the field when the action is coming down the sideline? One of the Cardinals players #21 Antrel Rolle was standing close to the sideline and got in the way of Larry Fitzgerald, who was trying to chase down James Harrison but had to slow down when he ran into Antrel Rolle and got there barely too late to stop the TD.)
  • On the Santonio Holmes TD near the end of the game, Santonio Holmes used the ball as a prop while celebrating the TD. I hate the rule that there's a 15-yard penalty for using the ball as a prop, but the rule is there and shouldn't the referees have called it? If they did, it would have been easier for the Cardinals to try to score in the final seconds.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sick at the way the ref's and the Steelers won that superbowl. The only thing missing in that game was the ref's wearing yellow.That was the most one-sided game I have ever seen. I am a steeler fan and I was sick of the unsportsman like conduct on the Steelers.

7:06 PM  

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