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January 8, 2015 at 9:37 AM

Referee for Seahawks-Panthers: Terry McAulay

The referee for Seattle’s playoff game against the Panthers Saturday is Terry McAulay, according to FootballZebras.com.

Seattle hasn’t gotten McAulay this year, but did for three pretty key games last year — including the Super Bowl (here’s his Pro Football Reference game log).

But remember that now that we are in the post-season, we have “all-star” crews made up of what were determined to be the best officials at each spot. So that means it won’t be the same crew McAulay worked with all season, making it difficult to read much into his season-long trends.

Here’s a story explaining how the all-star crews came about and some of the controversy that has elicited, specifically in light of the Detroit-Dallas game last weekend.

But for what it’s worth, McAulay’s crew ranked sixth out of 17 in penalties per game through week 15 of the NFL season.

If you’re looking for a reason to worry, the above link also includes this line:

Aggressive defenses are best off with the crews of either Brad Allen or Walt Coleman, who have called a total of eight and 11 combined penalties for defensive holding or illegal contact, respectively. John Parry’s crew (41) has been the most active here, followed by Terry McAulay (40).

But as we have noted often throughout the season, the idea that Seattle’s defense would suffer due to the league’s new emphasis on defensive holding and illegal contact proved largely unfounded — the Seahawks were called for 11 defensive holdings and two illegal contacts this season. The league average for defensive holdings was 7.3, so Seattle was above average but not hugely so. The average for illegal contacts was 3.25 so Seattle was below that.

Seattle’s biggest issue this season was pre-snap penalties, getting called for 29 false starts, most in the NFL and far above the average of 18.63 (all stats from here).

 

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