Officially speaking: Which calls to anticipate

October, 9, 2011
10/09/11
12:30
PM ET
SAN FRANCISCO -- It's time to revive the periodic "officially speaking" series heading into Week 5 games.

A few notes on crews led by referee Terry McAulay, who has been assigned to work the San San Francisco 49ers' game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Candlestick Park:
  • Interference in focus: McAulay's crew has flagged teams 30 times for interference since the start of the 2010 season, more than every crew but the one Ed Hochuli oversees. It is quite possible McAulay's crew has simply worked games featuring more of these infractions. But with crews led by six other refs having called between 14-18 such penalties over the same period, it's also possible McAulay's crew calls these penalties more aggressively. These are judgment calls. The 49ers haven't incurred any of the 71 interference penalties called on offense and defense this season. They had only five last season, among the lowest totals in the league.
  • Uncommon penalties: McAulay's crew has called only three of the 126 unsportsmanlike conduct penalties since the start of the 2009 season. His crew has called only two of the 93 penalties for intentional grounding and one of the 50 for horse-collar tackles over the same period. These are the lowest or among the lowest for any referee's crew, totals I'll revisit if these penalties come into play Sunday.

Thanks to Hank Gargiulo of ESPN Stats & Information for providing penalty-related information.

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