Detroit Lions fans and complaining about the officiating of NFL games. Can you name a more iconic pairing?
Detroit has certainly had their fair share of unfavorable memories when it comes to officiating blunders, though they are far from unique in their complaints about NFL referees. Ask any fanbase, and they’ll have a laundry list of offenses that “screwed” them out of a potential win.
But one statistical finding for the 2021 season suggests Lions fans have some bragging rights when it comes to officiating anger. Twitter account “accountable refs” went through all of the called penalties for the entire season, calculated the change in win probability for each infraction called, and ranked each team by the amount of win probability added based on their opponents’ penalties throughout the year. You probably know where this is going.
Yep, no other team benefitted less from opponents penalties than the Detroit Lions and it doesn’t appear all that close.
Here’s a look at which #NFL teams benefited most from penalties committed *by their opponents* this season
Tomorrow we’ll share which teams were hurt most by penalties against them -and- the net WP gain/loss from penalties for each team#NFLStats pic.twitter.com/oMDjTMcDUQ
— acCOUNTable refs (@AcCOUNTableRefs) January 13, 2022
Now, before you get all up in arms and start sending Roger Goodell letters about a plain-and-obvious conspiracy against Detroit, there are some important caveats to this study. Most importantly, this is based on win probability.…