The sample size is too small to make any conclusions but Rick Gosselin, the fine columnist from the Dallas Morning News, came up with a terrific statistic on replacement referees from Week 1.
According to Gosselin, replacement officials called 26 more penalties against visiting teams in the 16 Week 1 games. It added up to 104 calls against the road teams and 78 calls against home teams. “Replacement refs seemed affected by crowd,” Gosselin noted.
Again, one week isn’t a large enough sample size to draw a conclusion – not over an average difference of 1.63 penalties per game – but it is intriguing and worth following moving forward.
UPDATED: As Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas pointed out, the Week 1 sample was pretty much in line with what happened a year ago. In Week 1 of 2011, visiting teams were called for 42.3 percent of penalties. This year the figure was 43.6 percent.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune
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