USA Today article of analysis of Saints penalty disparity (1 Viewer)

gtaz21

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Yeah, here it goes ... I TOLD YOU SO.

This article is exactly what stat I was saying I wanted to see. What is the comparison between Saints opponents' number of penalties when they play the Saints vs their number of penalties when they don't play the Saints. Also, what kind of impact are those penalties having in the games? In this article, a sportswriter has done just what I asked for. He went to an analytics company and got them to crunch the numbers. Verdict? The disparity of Saints penalties vs their opponents is the largest its been in their opponents favor since they started keep track of the data 20 years ago. What else? Guess who the least penalized team is in the NFL? Yep, that's right ... whoever is playing the Saints that week. Which is what I thought. It doesn't matter whether you're one of the most penalized teams in the NFL or one of the least penalized teams in the NFL. If you're playing the Saints, you will be the least penalized team in the NFL for a week. That is proof-positive that the NFL is shafting the Saints week-in-and-week-out.

Also, Saints opponents get the most first downs via penalty than the opponents of any other team in the NFL. That answers the question of what kind of impact are the penalties having on the game. There can be no bigger impact than repeatedly extending drives for teams.

The only question remaining to be answered is, WHY? It could be revenge for introducing the PI challenge to the game. It could be that the NFL doesn't want the Saints in the Super Bowl. It could go way back to Bountygate. Or, it could be all of the above. I don't care. I just think it sucks.
 

efil4stnias

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I am not missing it. I agree they can be manipulated, I just do not believe that they are. Moaning about it seems intellectually dishonest to me, because none of these posters are going to complain if we win the superbowl.

It seems really simple, either someone has the capacity and power to influence the outcome of nfl games and they are doing it, in which case the league is basically scripted and our 2009 superbowl victory is a farce.

Or there is no conspiracy behind it and the mistakes and disparity is due to chance. No one even seems to be considering this. Is this the biggest disparity in the league? Is it the biggest one ever, is it bigger than the biggest disparity in most years? All of these seem like valid questions that no one is even attempting to answer. Instead we keep harping on about refs and pass interference like a broken record.
The league isnt "scripted" as say the WWE. But there are narratives pushed. There are storylines that "build" the league. The beauty of the NFL is they can lead a team toward victory, but the team actually has to go out and execute to realize victory. That right there is built in "chance". The one thing that keeps the veil in place. You cant accept a league that has narratives because to you, it invalidates our SuperBowl.

Not to me. We still had to play the game and win it. And we did.

Bountygate was our penance for not "falling back into line" after 2009. Instead, the Saints laid it down. We were better the next year and set to be for years to come. Flying in the face of what the NFL wanted. Bountygate was predicated on our "pay for hits" - yet the statistics CLEARLY showed we were the LEAST penalized team in the LEAGUE for Unsportsman like/roughing/ illegal hits. I guess thats just "chance"?

I agree that it isn't acceptable at an NFL level. But if that is the argument this thread should focus on the specific referees that continuously make mistakes instead of trying to frame it as some conspiracy against the saints. These are two seperate issues.

I 100% agree that the refereeing in the NFL needs to get looked at (making them all full-time would be a good start). I vehemently disagree that the poor refereeing is due to some conspiracy against us.
You are well within your right to disagree. However, you would be folly to not pay attention to the overall NFL picture. Money. Big money.
The Rams are building a $5b complex ( 3b over budget). The Rams played the Saints in the NFCCG. A call was missed that changed the outcome and sent the Rams to the Superbowl. The media couldnt ignore the missed call. 2 weeks leading up, the Rams appearance was being questioned. Did they belong? There was a push that could have invalidated their appearance. The game was played. They scored all of 3 points. That was a problem for the NFL. Because the chatter didnt die off as they had hoped. It bled over to the offseason and into league meetings and culminated in a rule change ( and tell me, the overtime rule change....that came after what? ) So that is now TWICE the Saints are involved in a contest that resulted in a major RULE CHANGE. And you chalk all this up to CHANCE?

Again, you can certainly do that. I dont. Ive seen too much in my lifetime to understand chance is merely an exception to create doubt and thereby pulling off a con.

Chance is an illusion. But its a necessary illusion for our perceived reality.


So then why are you spending time and effort suporting/watching a rigged league?
because at the end of the day, its entertainment.
 

ElGatoNegro

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I don't think the entire league is rigged, but I do think there is bad blood between Goodel and Coach Payton, and I do think the Patriots get preferential treatment. I also think that there is now retaliation by Riveron and the refs against the Saints b/c we exposed how subjective the PI calls have been. It is obvious in their refusal to overturn even bad calls--but then sticking it to us by overturning a very ticky tacky, questionable non-"interference" call in favor of the Panthers against us in our own home stadium--that the refs want to put us in our place, as it were. Why do I still watch the Saints? Because I have been watching them all my life (literally), love them, and believe in them, and I won't let the league take that away even though I think they are treating us unfairly. I simply won't give up on them, even though I know we have an extra mountain to climb this year. It's really not that complicated. You are trying to put Saints fans who are aware of the unfair officiating into a false dilemma: Either watch the games and believe they are not rigged, or don't watch them b/c they are. I don't think many of us are saying they are completely rigged. Rather, we are saying that the playing field is not quite level and is tilted a bit against us, but not so much that we cannot overcome it (at least so far). We still have a reason to watch. Why are you insisting on a false dilemma?
Because it seems to me like people are stuck in the past. I think its a massive case of confirmation bias. I find it very unlikely that the refereeing as a whole is biased against the saints.

I could see how maybe Goodell could have a personal vendetta against payton and might favour kraft when making unilateral decisions. I just don't see riveron getting all the refs together and deciding to screw the saints when ever the opportunity arises. I also think it distracts from the game as a whole and is a useless sideshow to make a scene of the refereeing. Every single fanbase thinks the refs are screwing them over. And considering what happened last year I think our fans particularly are being over sensitive and making a bigger deal out of it than it really is.

I am also a maths guy, and it rubs me the wrong way when people apply statistics incorrectly to try and make a point. Regardless of what it actually going on, the graph in the OP doesn't prove or suggest anything from a statistical standpoint as the OP is trying to make it seem
 

rvrelan

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El Grato. You’re making a huge leap from either it’s completely rigged to “nothing to see here”. It doesn’t have to be rigged to be slanted. We’re just seeing that there is a bias against the Saints from the referees that give an edge to our opponents. No better example than the Carolina game. With the call of PI after replay, they were giving Carolina 3 more downs to try to score a touchdown and/or run out the clock for a FG. Refs can’t help it that he missed the FG. And they knew there was no way they could get away with a bogus leverage call. They tried, but they huddled and realized how bad that would look.
 

efil4stnias

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Because it seems to me like people are stuck in the past. I think its a massive case of confirmation bias. I find it very unlikely that the refereeing as a whole is biased against the saints.

I could see how maybe Goodell could have a personal vendetta against payton and might favour kraft when making unilateral decisions. I just don't see riveron getting all the refs together and deciding to screw the saints when ever the opportunity arises. I also think it distracts from the game as a whole and is a useless sideshow to make a scene of the refereeing. Every single fanbase thinks the refs are screwing them over. And considering what happened last year I think our fans particularly are being over sensitive and making a bigger deal out of it than it really is.

I am also a maths guy, and it rubs me the wrong way when people apply statistics incorrectly to try and make a point. Regardless of what it actually going on, the graph in the OP doesn't prove or suggest anything from a statistical standpoint as the OP is trying to make it seem
why?

We questioned their ability...publicly. to the point of having a rule instituted to CHALLENGE them on NATIONAL TV.

So why do you find that unlikely to lead to bias?
 

ElGatoNegro

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That the data only shows statistical anomaly and not the possibility of refs consciously/unconsciously reffing with bias
I'm not making an assertion though. The onus is on the person presenting the argument to show that the stats support his conclusion. I did not state that the graph is definitely showing a statistical anomaly (from a cursory inspection it does not even appear to be that anomalous). It just doesn't show what the OP thinks it does (and the author of the article even stated as such).And it so happens to be my opinion that the discrepancy in penalties it is in fact a largely a coincidence
 

dutar76

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So then why are you spending time and effort suporting/watching a rigged league?
That's the lazy way out of the discussion. Why do we all watch football? That hasn't changed for many of us. It's like Christmas when you're a kid that's "getting to that age". Maybe you fake believing in Santa for a few years at the end because maybe you just want to believe.

As for the OP... This is one of quite a few articles on this subject this week. Myself and a few other posters made threads showing these numbers here on SR last week, leading up to the TNF game vs Atl.

The part that these articles aren't stressing enough is exactly how bad it's been for the past 4 weeks. Seriously, before those 4 games, the penalties for and against and first downs awarded for and against was pretty even close enough. Yes there was a few screwings in early games, (time run off the clock before the half, Cam's fumble return for a TD called back, etc..), but the flags and first downs awarded by flags were reasonably close between the Saints and their opponents.

But over the past 4 games? it's been more than an anomaly. So bad that once you see the actually numbers, you'd have to bald face LIE to say you don't see it. Here's the #'s:

The falcons were awarded 5 first downs off of penalties
Saints were awarded 0

2 weeks ago Panthers were awarded 5 first downs off of penalties.
Saints were awarded 1.

3 weeks ago, the falcons were awarded 6 first downs off of penalties.
Saints were awarded 1.

4 weeks ago, the Buccaneers were awarded 5 first downs off of penalties
Saints were awarded 0

Here's the rest of the season
Cardinals 0
Saints 0

Bears 0
Saints 1

Jaguars 1
Saints 0

Bucs 2
Saints 2

Cowboys 4
Saints 3

Seahawks 3
Saints 2

Rams 2
Saints 2

Texans 2
Saints 0

SEASON TOTAL=
Opponents 31
Saints 12


PAST 4 WEEKS=
Opponents 21 first downs awarded off penalties
Saints 2

Couple of things. This does NOT even include the # of 1st downs the Saint's offense had negated by penalty, and there have been a LOT of those. Add to that... I don't remember many times this season where an opponent had 1st downs taken away by flags. Those numbers would mirror the season totals above.

Notice that all year the Saints and their opponents have roughly the same amount of 1st downs awarded by penalty, give or take 1 or 2. But now that the Saints are running away with the NFC South... The refs are stepping in to make it hard for them to do that. 3 straight games vs divisional opponents and the refs have awarded the Falcons, Bucs, and Panthers 16 first downs... Saints 2.

The question isn't "IF" the Saints are being treated unfair on purpose... The only question is "WHY?"
 

guidomerkinsrules

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I'm not making an assertion though. The onus is on the person presenting the argument to show that the stats support his conclusion. I did not state that the graph is definitely showing a statistical anomaly (from a cursory inspection it does not even appear to be that anomalous). It just doesn't show what the OP thinks it does (and the author of the article even stated as such).And it so happens to be my opinion that the discrepancy in penalties it is in fact a largely a coincidence
But it does show it
It does not prove it beyond the shadow of a doubt- it doesn’t have to be the only conclusion that the data shows, but it certainly shows that the refs call the saints and their opponents differently
 

Infoman

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but it certainly shows that the refs call the saints and their opponents differently
Or does it show that the Saints are their own worst enemy, and generally commit way too many penalties, and their opponents have to play near mistake free football to have a chance to beat them...?

As with most data... you can use it to see what you are looking for... That's why context and substance of the data is way more important than raw numbers.
 

St.Dan

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Beyond the stats, I can't get the words of Fox Sports announcer Charles Davis out of my head during training camp. Intimated that, given what he knew about how NFL refs operate, the Saints surely faced an uphill climb reaching the Super Bowl this year. I read those words on this forum; not sure whether it was tweeted, blogged, mainstreamed, etc.; don't remember exactly.

We're 10-2 playing 11-on-16 out there so far. As Muhammad Ali would say, "We MUST be the greatest!" ;)
 

Domeination

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Because it seems to me like people are stuck in the past. I think its a massive case of confirmation bias. I find it very unlikely that the refereeing as a whole is biased against the saints.

I could see how maybe Goodell could have a personal vendetta against payton and might favour kraft when making unilateral decisions. I just don't see riveron getting all the refs together and deciding to screw the saints when ever the opportunity arises. I also think it distracts from the game as a whole and is a useless sideshow to make a scene of the refereeing. Every single fanbase thinks the refs are screwing them over. And considering what happened last year I think our fans particularly are being over sensitive and making a bigger deal out of it than it really is.

I am also a maths guy, and it rubs me the wrong way when people apply statistics incorrectly to try and make a point. Regardless of what it actually going on, the graph in the OP doesn't prove or suggest anything from a statistical standpoint as the OP is trying to make it seem
The old saying, "There are three types of lies: Lie, damned lies, and statistics," often applies to arguments. Yes, statistics can be manipulated. Yes, they can be misunderstood. However, human nature is not something that can be easily quantified in a statistical formula. I don't care if you are a mathematician. That doesn't mean you have a keener understanding of human nature than any of the rest of us. It is not hard to fathom how the refs could have an unconscious bias against the Saints this year b/c of the PI review rule and could be over scrutinizing our players and flagging them for minor (or even phantom) offenses, such as the supposed holds and hands to the face calls that have been made on several of our plays (including calls that took points off the board on multiple occasions). These are potentially game changing calls I am talking about, not frivolous things. I have seen the other team do the very same things--sometimes even more flagrantly--in the very same game and not get called for it. When this happens game after game, it does not appear to be coincidental. You can throw whatever math you want to at me, but all you are doing is trying to manipulate statistics in your own way to disprove what the rest of us keep seeing with our own eyes. And as far as the past goes, I think it matters that the commissioner doesn't like our team. If he did not have such a negative attitude towards us, I am sure the officials would be getting a good talking to. This would not happen to New England.
 

hookedsaint

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Because it seems to me like people are stuck in the past. I think its a massive case of confirmation bias. I find it very unlikely that the refereeing as a whole is biased against the saints.

I could see how maybe Goodell could have a personal vendetta against payton and might favour kraft when making unilateral decisions. I just don't see riveron getting all the refs together and deciding to screw the saints when ever the opportunity arises. I also think it distracts from the game as a whole and is a useless sideshow to make a scene of the refereeing. Every single fanbase thinks the refs are screwing them over. And considering what happened last year I think our fans particularly are being over sensitive and making a bigger deal out of it than it really is.

I am also a maths guy, and it rubs me the wrong way when people apply statistics incorrectly to try and make a point. Regardless of what it actually going on, the graph in the OP doesn't prove or suggest anything from a statistical standpoint as the OP is trying to make it seem
Read the article SaintJ posted in the girod street end zone take thread.
 

guidomerkinsrules

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Or does it show that the Saints are their own worst enemy, and generally commit way too many penalties, and their opponents have to play near mistake free football to have a chance to beat them...?

As with most data... you can use it to see what you are looking for... That's why context and substance of the data is way more important than raw numbers.
Yes to your 2nd paragraph
To your first, if this was just about saints penalties, fine
But similar results among disparate teams- that’s when you have to really start massaging the numbers
tbc
I’m not ready to come down one way r the other, I just jumped in t point out the double standard elgato was applying
 

NeverGiveUP2

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The sample size is not big enough my arse.
Have you watched any Saints games this season ElGato? If you have then your EYES should tell you that we have trivially been called for the same penalties that our opponents have not. Conspiracy or not it’s obvious bro.
Correct. Sample size is pertinent when factoring random outcomes. Flip a coin 10 times and you may get 10 heads because each outcome is random. Human judgement is not random and these stats look very much like human bias is in play here
 

SAINTSFAN

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Or does it show that the Saints are their own worst enemy, and generally commit way too many penalties, and their opponents have to play near mistake free football to have a chance to beat them...?

As with most data... you can use it to see what you are looking for... That's why context and substance of the data is way more important than raw numbers.
So, even if you assume the Saints are the most undisciplined team in football (not a normal trait under Payton), does that translate into other teams being on their best behavior consistently when playing the Saints? If you watch the games, you can easily see that there is not consistency in calls. Holding on the Saints somehow is not holding on the opponent, and so on.
 

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