The play would likely have been remembered for the fight that came afterwards, if it weren’t for a simple procedural mistake that the referees in today’s San Francisco 49ers v. Green Bay Packers made in assessing the offsetting penalties called during the fight. Instead, it will be remembered as a play that gave the 49ers a 8% greater chance of winning the game, one which they capitalized on. We’ll see if that pays out in the final outcome.
Preplay Set-Up: 49ers ball, 3rd and 6, from the Packers 10 yard line. 9:57 left in the 2nd quarter of a 7-7 game.
Call: Referees called offsetting personal foul penalties.
Mistake: Referees incorrected replayed the down, as if the penalties were assessed for action during the play.
Outcome on the Field: 49ers ball, 3rd and 6, from the Packers 10 yard line. 9:02 left in the 2nd quarter of a 7-7 game.
Correct Outcome: It should have been 49ers ball, 4th and 2, from the Packers 6 yard line. 9:02 left in the 2nd quarter of a 7-7 game.
The probability of the 49ers winning the game with the outcome on the field was 65%. 3rd and 6 offers a clear advantage over 4th and 2. In this case, the 49ers capitalized on this opportunity with a touchdown pass, but we here at NFLIntel prefer to assess referee performance based on probabilities and situations, not outcomes, which provide biased views based on results.
The probability of the 49ers winning the game if it were called correctly would have been 60%.
Therefore the referees provided the 49ers 5 points greater probability of winning the game, an advantage of 8% over how the call should have been.
When NFLIntel releases its referee scoring system later this NFL season, you will see that this would have caused the officiating crew to lose 15 points. A score of 100 is a perfect grade in our system.
We feel that this is unacceptable. NFLIntel is dedicated to bringing greater levels of transparency and accountability to NFL officiating.