Despite the stern warning issued last Friday by Dean Blandino, NFL vice president of officials, referees are calling less penalties during the playoffs than they called during the regular season. Whether this is a good or a bad thing is up for debate.
The Seattle Times brought up the discrepancy in an article titled “Will officials’ let-them-play style in playoffs favor Seahawks?” Using a table from nflpenalties.com — an awesome site you absolutely must bookmark if you’re fascinated by penalties (and who isn’t, really?) — the article shows the decline in the number of penalties called per game in the regular season versus the number of penalties called per game in the playoffs. For example, 12.6 penalties were called per regular-season game in 2011 in contrast to only 8.09 penalties being called per game in the 2011 playoffs. The same pattern has held true in 2013, with the number of penalties called per game dropping from 12.15 (regular season) to 10.13 (playoffs). It’s not a dramatic decrease, true, but it’s noticeable.
FanSiders, what do you think about the let-them-play trend? Are you in favor of seeing fewer flags on the field, or would you like to see officials keep running a tight ship? Sound off in the comments below.
[Source: The Seattle Times]