From the realm of “things that probably won’t matter but might” comes a little tidbit that might be troubling to the New England Patriots and their fans.
Veteran referee Ed Hochuli will head the officiating crew for Sunday’s AFC Championship Game matchup between the Patriots and Denver Broncos, it was reported over the weekend by FootballZebras.com and later confirmed by the NFL. On the face of it, that seems like great news. Hochuli’s seen it all from an officiating standpoint and is one of the most recognizable officials in sports.
But Patriots beat writer and amateur historian Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald dug up some background on Hochuli calling Broncos games, and the results aren’t promising for New England.
Now, historical trends can be informative, but they also can be completely inconsequential, and you can find data to back up whatever case you’re looking to make. For instance, Brady is 5-1 all time against Manning when favored by three points or more, according to OddsShark, and the Patriots’ line currently sits at minus-3 for Sunday.
Still, it’s an interesting detail, and if the Patriots lose, their fans will have a ready-made scapegoat in Hochuli.
Thumbnail photo via Jeremy Brevard/USA TODAY Sports Images