Referee confidential: Anderson gets the call

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A few tidbits on referee Walt Anderson and crew with about 30 remaining until the NFC Championship Game at University of Phoenix Stadium:

  • Anderson and crew assessed 12.6 penalties per game during the regular season, third-most in the league.

  • Coaches initiated 15 replay challenges against Anderson, resulting in three reversals. Only one referee, John Parry, had a lower reversal rate on such challenges.

  • Anderson faced five booth-initiated challenges, resulting in three reversals. Those figures were unremarkable compared to league averages.

  • Games Anderson officiated during the 2008 regular season averaged 41.21 total points, fifth-fewest out of 17 referees. The range was between 50.27 (Peter Morelli) and 39.25 (Bill Carollo).

  • The Cardinals are 0-1 under coach Ken Whisenhunt when Anderson works their games, falling 25-10 against the Panthers in Week 6 of the 2007 season. Anderson assessed 20 penalties in that game, including nine against the Cardinals.

The fact that Anderson is working this game means he will not work the Super Bowl. NFL officiating director Mike Pereira recently said referees working the championship round would not work the Super Bowl. For more on officiating in 2008, download my end-of-season file.