NFL assigns Adrian Hill to referee Saints vs. Vikings
The NFL has hired 11-year-old veteran Adrian Hill and his crew to play the New Orleans Saints game for Week 16, in which black and gold will greet the Minnesota Vikings at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Hill, 56, was promoted to referee in 2019 after spending most of his career as a court judge or assistant judge. His first four years he was a line judge.
Hill has only played one game of the Saints in his capacity as referee. That would be the December 6th matchup between the Saints and the Atlanta Falcons, which New Orleans won 21-16 at the Superdome. The Saints were fouled 10 times for 79 yards on this incline while Atlanta only pulled a 15 yard which grossed the passerby penalty.
This is a strange inequality and atypical for Hill's crew this year so far. Home teams were penalized 83 times, compared to 91 fouls for street teams in the games Hill worked. Maybe in week 16 things will go a little smoother.
You will certainly hope so. The Saints are tied for the seventh most penalties in the NFL (90), but they lead the league in criminal courts (936) as one of the only two teams to have scored 900 or more in the year to date - the other being the 1- 13 Jacksonville Jaguars. New Orleans fouls are largely from the defensive side of the ball, where they have been marked 58 times for 666 penalties and worst in each category in the NFL.
Much of this is due to spot fouls for defensive pass disruptions. The Saints received 17 of these for 314 yards and are once again leading the league. It was an area of frustration throughout the year, compounded by the Saints' crime ranked twelfth worst of the same calls from the other team.
We got to see a lot of Hill on Friday. Its crew has thrown the second highest penalty flags (174) to take the second highest seat in penal courts (1,517). We hope they keep their laundry better clean and that Hill doesn't waste too much screen time.
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