There are only seven NFL games left to be played this season and no the spectacle known as the Pro Bowl does not count. So you might think that the league would call upon its best to officiated those magnificent seven contests, right?
Well at the controls this weekend in Denver is a fella named Bill Vinovich (pictured). Now Bill has skippered an officiating crew for all of two playoff games in his career, the most recent of which was in 2006. Due to a heart condition he was forced to the sidelines in 2007 and did not return as a referee until October of this season. It is by far in NFL history the longest span that an official returns after so many seasons away from he game.
So what might that mean for the Ravens and Broncos?
Well Vinovich’s track record in 2012 suggests that he lets teams play and when you consider that the Ravens have been flagged 7.6 times per game (Ranked 31st) and 70.4 yards per game (Ranked 32nd) this could be good news.
On average Vinovich calls 9.7 penalties for 73.7 yards. Home teams win 50% of the time when Vinovich has the whistle. Comparatively speaking this past Sunday’s referee Mike Carey, calls 12.7 penalties per game for 100 yards. Home teams win 60% of the time. The league average is 56.4%.
Might the Ravens have found their 12th man for Saturday?
What do you think about the league’s choice of Vinovich and his relative inexperience?