NFL players and fans have complained at various points in the 2019 season about the abundance of penalties called, but based on the referee crew assigned to officiate Sunday's Week 11 matchup between the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, we shouldn't expect to see many flags flying at Lincoln Financial Field.
Referee Bill Vinovich and his crew have been assigned to work this much-anticipated game, and as ESPN's Mike Reiss notes, this group has called the fewest penalties per game in the league this season.
Bill Vinovich has been assigned as referee for Sunday's Patriots-Eagles game. Vinovich, who is No. 52 in your officiating program, worked the Patriots-Dolphins game in Week 2. His crew entered last weekend's games averaging the fewest penalties called per game.— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) November 12, 2019
The Patriots have committed the sixth-fewest penalties on offense and the fifth-fewest penalties on defense through 10 weeks.
The defending Super Bowl champions rarely beat themselves, but that wasn't the case in their most recent game -- a 37-20 loss on the road to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 9. New England committed seven penalties in this defeat, and a few of these mistakes proved costly.
A game with fewer penalties should benefit the Patriots for a few reasons, one being they have more talent than the Eagles on both sides of the ball. If Vinovich's crew lets the players play, New England should take care of business. Oddsmakers are confident in that outcome, too, as they've pegged the Patriots as 3.5-point road favorites.
The Patriots also have an 8-3 record in games Vinovich has officiated since he became a referee in 2004, including a Super Bowl XLIX victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
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