Stat Pack Week 12: Refs Didn't Screw 49ers and Patriots
By Adam Dobrowolski
Cold, Hard Football Facts Chief Mathletics Advisor
Wrestling entertainment diehards will always remember the date -- November 9, 1997. In a semi-fiction and scripted world, the events in the main event of the WWF (now WWE) Championship Match between Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart were about as real as the show could get.
Hart, the title holder, loses a match in which he didn't lose. Maniacal owner Vince McMahon was later quoted as saying, "Vince McMahon didn't screw Bret Hart. Bret screwed Bret."
So why do I care about this event when talking about a weekly podcast here on CHFF? Not only do we dish out the Cold, Hard Football Facts here, but we also give some tough love. So, when we see the legitimate controversy over two climactic plays in two quality games, we feel like the facts can act as a healthy dose of tough love.
The two plays in question will be remember for the rest of the year. (1) Ahmad Brooks' strip sack of Drew Brees gets wiped out by a roughing penalty. The referee crew cites a hit at the head and neck area to negate the turnover and give the Saints the ball. New Orleans ties the game later in the said drive and eventually wins 23-20 after a time-expiring field goal. (2) Tom Brady's pass to Rob Gronkowski on the final play in Carolina was ruled "no pass interference" despite a load of contact by Luke Kuechly as Robert Lester secured an interception. Panthers win, 24-20.
So, you think the 49ers and Patriots got screwed? Well, the referees didn't screw 49ers and Patriots. They screwed themselves. Don't believe me? Just check out the Cold, Hard Football Facts.
Even though the replays will show that the correct calls were actually made, this isn't the issue at hand for this week's first topic. With mediocre passing numbers (as dictated by Real Passing Yards per Attempt and Real Quarterback Rating), these two teams lost their quality road games because they simply were not efficient enough to overcome plays left to interpretation by the referees.
"You want to be the man? Well, you have to BEAT THE MAN!"
Wait, that's a different wrestling reference...
For those who are interested in checking out bits and pieces of this week's podcasts, every edition will include a "playlist" of sorts breaking down every segment from the podcast.
0:45 -- A factual take on the 49ers-Saints and Patriots-Panthers controversial calls
9:45 -- Week 11 Big Board Highlights
14:15 -- King of Props Week 11 Review
16:35 -- The Stat Pack Week 12 Power Rankings
21:05 -- Week 12 Preview via the Intelligence Index
24:10 -- Six Pack of Top Games for Week 12
- Play Fantasy Football in Seconds with Fantasy Spin Quick Pick
- Panthers Better Than Falcons in 17 of 22 Quality Stats
- Steelers-Seahawks tight statistical showdown
- Patriots, Panthers Have Each Faced Just 1 Quality Opponent
- New England Heads to Denver Dominant in Quality Stats Battle
- Cardinals, Patriots Top 2 in Mother of All Stats, Passer Rating Differential
- Super Bowl XLIX Prop Bets: Full List
- Super Bowl 49 Game Capsule: Patriots @ Seahawks
- Awesome: Must-see Super Bowl Hall of Shame Infographic
- Referee Bill Vinovich Gets The Nod For Super Bowl 49 -- Balls