Referee confidential: Cardinals at Panthers

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Tracking referee statistics this season told us which one assessed the most penalties (Ron Winter), which ones suffered the most replay reversals (Bill Leavy) and which ones almost never faced booth-initiated challeenges (Mike Carey, Bill Carollo).

I've also been looking at which referees tend to assess the most and fewest penalties against certain teams.

The chart shows how many penalties per game each current referee has assessed, on average, against the Cardinals and Panthers since 2003. To avoid aberrations, I considered statistics only for referees who worked at least four gam
es involving each team during that span.

Jeff Triplette never works Panthers games because he's from North Carolina. Arizona resident Ed Hochuli rarely works Cardinals games. Al Riveron and Carl Cheffers were first-year referees, so they did not have enough games to qualify.

Using the stated criteria. Peter Morelli has assessed the fewest penalties per game against the Cardinals (4.8). Winter (9.2) and Carollo have assessed the most (9.0).

For the Panthers, Gene Steratore has assessed the fewest penalties per game over that span (4.3), while Hochuli has assessed the most (8.8).

The league generally does not announce referee assignments in advance, except for the Super Bowl. For a detailed look at officiating stats by referee, please sample my 2008 NFL officiating download. This covers all 256 regular-season games.