Veteran official Gene Steratore will be the head of the crew for the Seattle-Atlanta divisional playoff game Saturday.
As was illustrated anew in Seattle’s win over Detroit Saturday, officiating often becomes a big storyline in the playoffs.
Which is why it may be helpful to know how the officials are ahead of time.
FootballZebras.com has the details on the officials for Saturday’s Seattle-Atlanta divisional playoff game, with the crew headed up by Gene Steratore. It’s worth remembering that the crews this time of year are “all-star” units made up of the officials that have graded out the best during the regular season.
That means the crews are not the same as they were during the regular season, and some have questioned if it’s worth breaking up the continuity of the crews.
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As FootballZebras details, Saturday’s crew includes two others who worked all season with Steratore, so there is at least some familiarity.
That the the crews aren’t completely the same as those in the regular season may make Steratore’s regular season trends irrelevant.
But for what it’s worth, Steratore’s numbers are of an official who likes to let them play.
According to Pro Football Reference, Steratore’s crew has called fewer numbers for fewer yards than league average for nine of the last 10 seasons. That includes this season, when Steratore called 2.3 penalties per game under league average and almost 20 yards under league average.
Steratore did just one Seahawks game this year, but it was a good one for Seattle, a 31-24 win at New England which ended with something of a “let them play” play, the fourth-down pass to Rob Gronkowski in the end zone under heavy coverage from Seattle safety Kam Chancellor.
Overall, the Seahawks are 6-2 in the Pete Carroll era in games officiated by Steratore. The most notable of the other Seattle games he officiated was the NFC title game win over the 49ers following the 2013 season.