When looking at an upcoming NFL game, part of the fun is breaking down every part of the matchup. Like, every single part. All of the parts.
So, with that in mind, who's ready for some discussion about why Week 5's referee assignments could hurt the Washington Football Team in their showdown with the Rams on Sunday?
You are? Oh, wait, no, you're heading out? OK. Well, thanks for the time.
You are, though? You're still in? Sweet. Let's do it.
Shawn Smith will be the ref at FedEx Field this weekend, and Smith's presence tends to harm the home side. The stats show that.
Mhm. There are apparently stats about the guys in stripes.
In Smith's last two seasons as ref, the hosts have lost more on their own grass with him overseeing the action when compared to the league average.
In 2018, for example, those playing in their stadiums won 59 percent of the time. When Smith was leading the officials, though, they triumphed just 40 percent of the time.
That trend continued in 2019. Home squads across the sport won 52 percent of contests, but with Smith reffing, they were victorious in a shade over 43 percent of their appearances.
Fortunately, in 2020, traveling franchises are 1-3 in Smith-led tilts, so Washington can perhaps take some solace in that small sample size.
The Burgundy and Gold shouldn't just fear Smith's influence in that aspect, however. They should also be wary of how he has impacted the Rams in the past.
Smith was an umpire in 2017 and drew two games where the Rams were the visitors. On those two trips, the Rams put up 51 and 42 points respectively.
Sure, that particular nugget feels largely fluky and coincidental, but the numbers about road bunches finding more success than usual when Smith's on the field carry some weight.
At the very least, they should provide Washington fans something to rage tweet about if Sunday doesn't go their way. Start crafting those drafts now, folks.