The NFL has announced referee assignments for the opening round of the 2014 playoffs, and one name among the four crew chiefs is sure to draw the ire of fans around the country. Jeff Triplette has been the poster boy for a season marred by a multitude of referee mishaps, but was still rated high enough by the league to earn a postseason spot.
He'll be joined by crew leaders Walt Anderson, Ed Hochuli and Bill Vinovich, according to FootballZebras.com.
Triplette will be in charge of the game between the Chargers and Bengals. Cincinnati was the beneficiary of his most notable 2013 gaffe. Triplette ignited a stir among among fans when he inexplicably overturned a call in the Week 14 Bengals-Colts game. Though video replay appeared to clearly indicate running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis had been downed by contact during a fourth-down goal-line play, Triplette overturned the ruling and granted Cincinnati a critical touchdown in a game they would go on to win.
Triplette was also in charge of the crew guilty of the downs gaffe during a Giants-Redskins game earlier this season. During the final drive of that Sunday Night Football game, officials incorrectly signaled a first down when it was in fact third down.
Triplette has been an NFL official for 18 years and will be making his 13th postseason assignment.
Bill Leavey, who was in charge of a crew reprimanded by the league for a mistake during the Chiefs-Chargers game last week, is not among the refs for the opening round.
Officials for postseason games are determined by ratings kept by the league throughout the season, according to Football Zebras. Crews ranked Nos. 7 through 10 work the wild card games. Nos. 4 through 6 plus the eventual Super Bowl crew work the divisional round. Conference championships and the Super Bowl are manned by all-star crews comprised of the individuals who are the highest-rated at their position.