Report: Referee Adrian Hill assigned to back-to-back Saints games

John Sigler
·2 min read

Here’s an odd one: the New Orleans Saints will be working with the same officiating crew in Week 17’s regular season finale as they met in Week 16, per Football Zebras. Referee Adrian Hill and his staff have been assigned to the Saints’ upcoming match with the Carolina Panthers a week after they officiated the Saints’ NFC South-clinching win over the Minnesota Vikings.

It’s unusual for the same officials to work a game with the same team in back-to-back weeks, but it isn’t unprecedented. Just this year we’ve seen referee Alex Kemp’s staff work two Green Bay Packers games in Weeks 14 and 15; the Packers won both games but were fouled 17 times for 118 penalty yards against 11 fouls for 96 penalty yards on their opponents.

Still, it’s strange to say the least. Hill’s crew is the only NFL officiating staff working games involving the same team in Weeks 16 and 17.

Per, Hill’s crew has thrown the fourth-most penalty flags per game (12.1), averaging the seventh-most penalty yards per game (105.0), so he’s used to getting his share of the spotlight. For the curious, he’s been on the mic for two games with New Orleans earlier this year: their Dec. 6 game with the Atlanta Falcons (the Saints drew 10 fouls for 79 yards, the Falcons had one 15-yard roughing the passer penalty) and the Christmas Day game matchup with the Vikings (New Orleans had 4 fouls for 38 yards, Minnesota received 3 fouls for 20 yards).

With playoff seeding on the line for so many teams, the NFL is putting their higher-rated crews in position to make sure things go off without a hitch. Here’s hoping for a clean, fairly-called game to send the Saints into the postseason — ideally as the No. 1 seed.