Some might point to Aaron Dobson being unlikely to play against the Colts as the bad news of the day (they're keeping him active in the hopes that he'll be healthy if they make it to the next round). Sheeple, you need to open your eyes and see the true bad news that's been right in front of us.
ESPN's Mike Reiss pointed out that Pete Morelli is head ref for this upcoming Patriots game. A quick scan of his numbers will reveal that Morelli just doesn't throw the flag, in line for 2.5 fewer penalties per game below the league average. That could be a good thing, except for the fact that he's calling 4.7% fewer penalties on the home team. That's right- Patriots are going to be getting some favoritism in this game.
Over the past six seasons, he's been averaging 3.7% fewer calls on the home team than the league average. Remove a 2011 anomaly year, and he's up to 4.3%. If the Patriots ever get a call to go their way, look no further than this statistic.
But how is this bad news, you might ask? Well, it balances out because Garth DeFelice is on the same unit.
Who is DeFelice? Beyond the fact that units he's been on have called 5.0% more calls on the home team (it balances out!), he comes with easily the most ignominious call of the season, or at the very least the worst one associated with the Patriots.
That's right, he was the Umpire for the Patriots-Panthers game that saw the end zone flag on a clear and obvious pass interference call picked up. Per the official report, DeFelice was one of the officials who thought he should help determine the "catchability" of the ball, eventually overruling the back judge. The other ref was the side judge.
The back judge had the best line of sight because, you know, he's watching the back of the play (where it was happening). Of course, the side judge might have a vantage point, as his role is is to watch between the umpire's view and the back judge's view.
The Umpire, however... per the rulebook, he has "primary jurisdiction...on the scrimmage line." In the case, that happened to be 25 yards away from the play. Yet he thought he had a good enough view to overrule the back judge.
So for all the benefit Morelli might grant, DeFelice takes that all away, and then some. He's coming into the lion's den and is responsible for the Patriots not having a fair shot at home field advantage throughout the playoffs. He knows it. Now the fans should know it.
Actually, DeFelice might come into this game knowing that he owes the Patriots a big one...this might not be as bad as I initially thought...