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NFC West penalty watch: Giants-49ers ref

NFL officiating crews have largely stayed in the background in the playoffs this season.

ESPN's John Clayton, in putting together his weekend preview, thinks the New York Giants could be in line for more holding calls with Ed Hochuli assigned to the NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers. Count @DLucasTaylor among those wondering what the Hochuli assignment might mean more broadly.

Before taking a look at potential tendencies for Hochuli, we should note that the NFL switches to all-star officiating crews beginning in the championship round. As much as Hochuli seems to relish making calls, he cannot make all of them. Having a different crew could affect tendencies.

Referees do tend to be the ones calling holding against left tackles and roughing the passer.

The 49ers defeated New Orleans last week even though they declined the only penalty John Parry's crew called against the Saints. New Orleans declined two of the five penalties called against the 49ers in that game. Parry, who also worked the 49ers' game at Baltimore this season, appears in line to work the Super Bowl.

Hochuli's crew led the NFL in penalties for defensive holding. They also ranked high among the 17 crews for offensive holding and pass interference.

The chart shows where Hochuli's crews ranked among the others for various frequently made calls.

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2011 Ed Hochuli