Super Bowl

NFL reveals Super Bowl LIV referee, and it's a familiar face for Patriots fans

NFL reveals Super Bowl LIV referee, and it's a familiar face for Patriots fans

The NFL has chosen the referee for Super Bowl LIV.

Bill Vinovich will officiate his second Super Bowl, the league announced Wednesday. He has 11 games of playoff experience, with his most recent assignment being the Tennessee Titans' AFC Divisional Round win over the Baltimore Ravens last weekend.

Vinovich also was the referee during Super Bowl XLIX, which the New England Patriots won over the Seattle Seahawks thanks to Malcolm Butler's game-winning interception at the goal line.

Three weeks before Super Bowl XLIX, Vinovich was the referee for the Patriots' win over the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Divisional Round. That game included the eligible/ineligible receivers tactic the Patriots used to help eliminate the Ravens' lead in the second half.

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However, the most memorable moment from Vinovich's recent officiating career came in last season's NFC Championship Game between the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints. 

His crew missed an egregious pass interference penalty on the Los Angeles Rams late in the fourth quarter that likely cost the Saints a Super Bowl appearance. The Rams ultimately won in overtime to clinch the NFC title, but they lost two weeks later to the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII. The criticism of the missed pass interference call on the Rams was so bad that the NFL made pass interference reviewable beginning in the 2019 season.

David Ortiz to star in new Super Bowl commercial

NFL odds: Patriots' chances to win Super Bowl plummet after Dolphins loss

NFL odds: Patriots' chances to win Super Bowl plummet after Dolphins loss

The New England Patriots missed a crucial opportunity, and Vegas already has reacted accordingly.

The Patriots fell 27-24 to the Miami Dolphins in their regular season finale Sunday afternoon, a loss that forces them to play on Wild Card Weekend for the first time since 2009.

Late Sunday night, SuperBook USA revealed its updated Super Bowl LIV odds for the entire NFL playoff field -- and New England is now sixth on that list at 14/1, per SuperBook exec Jeff Sherman.

That's a steep drop-off from just days ago; the Patriots had 8/1 odds to win the Super Bowl entering Week 17, behind only the Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints.

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But sportsbooks now are much higher on the Kansas City Chiefs, who knocked New England out of the No. 2 seed in Week 17 and take a six-game winning streak into their first-round playoff bye.

The Patriots still are home favorites against the No. 6 seed Tennessee Titans next Saturday night. History isn't on their side, though: That 2009 Wild Card round matchup resulted in a blowout loss to the Baltimore Ravens, and a No. 3 seed or lower hasn't even reached the Super Bowl since the 2012 Ravens.

Such is reality for the suddenly reeling Patriots, who were Super Bowl LIV favorites just over a month ago and now have just a five percent chance to repeat as champs, according to ESPN's Football Power Index.

Best of the 2010s: Ranking the 10 greatest Patriots wins of the decade

Best of the 2010s: Ranking the 10 greatest Patriots wins of the decade

Even if we were to lop off the entire first half of this Patriots dynasty -- an entire decade -- what the Patriots have done since 2010 would still qualify as one of the greatest runs any franchise has put together in NFL history.

Three Super Bowl titles. Five Super Bowl appearances. Eight AFC Championship Games. Ten AFC East crowns. It's mind-boggling. Narrowing down the list of big wins to 10 is equally disorienting. The ones that resulted in Lombardi Trophies are obvious, but after that . . . it's an eye-of-the-beholder situation. 

Your view of the rankings might differ from mine, but no matter which way you go, the end result is the same: It's been a pretty good time to be a Patriots fan.