Replacement refs' pass interference calls give value to overs
NFL replacement refs were under the microscope in Week 1. And that microscope was under an even bigger microscope.
All eyes were on the backup whistles blowers, straining to see if the replacements would totally muck up the opening week of NFL football. But, for the most part, the scabs did their job - except for a little snafu in the San Diego-Oakland Monday nighter
According to stats collected by Chase Stuart of the New York Times
, the replacement refs hovered around the Week 1 averages in total calls and home/away splits, showing a slight lean towards the host teams.
However, the biggest discrepancy between the replacements and the regular NFL officials in Week 1 was the number of defensive pass interference calls. There were 29 flags thrown for pass interference this past week – more than twice as many as the Week 1 average over the last 10 seasons (13 per Week 1).
According to ESPN
, seven of the 29 defensive pass interference penalties were whistled on NFC West members Arizona (3), Seattle (2) and San Francisco (2). The other NFC West team, St. Louis, went without a pass interference penalty in its heart-breaking loss to Detroit.
The Seahawks and Cardinals played each other in Week 1 with Arizona coming away with a 20-16 win that played under the 40.5-point total. The Niners defeated Green Bay, 30-22, playing over the 46.5-point number.
As for Week 2, Seattle takes on Dallas and its dangerous pass attack which features big athletic WRs like Dez Bryant, Miles Austin and Kevin Ogletree. Oddsmakers have tagged this game with a 41.5-point total.
Arizona travels all the way east to visit New England and its thundering tight ends. The number for that game is posted at 48 points – the second-highest total on Sunday’s slate.
San Francisco meets Detroit and all-world WR Calvin Johnson in a Sunday Night Football showdown. Oddsmakers have tagged that contest with a 46.5-point total.