The controversy over whether Jerome Boger deserves to be the lead referee for Super Bowl XLVII has died down, mainly because there's nothing critics can do about it.
But Boger, who has never worked a conference championship game or Super Bowl, has tendencies worth examining.
Boger's crew called an NFL-high 18 holding penalties against defensive linemen since 2008, about three times the norm, ESPN.com's Mike Sando reported.
That could come into play with the 49ers' Justin Smith. Remember, Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said Smith “gets away with murder” by holding offensive linemen, freeing up pass rushers like Aldon Smith (19.5 sacks).
Boger, of course, will work with an all-star crew Sunday, not his regular crew. But Boger himself is responsible for some holding calls, in addition to roughing-the-passer penalties.
From 2010 through this season, Boger's crews also called an NFL-high 151 offensive holding penalties. Baltimore drew an above-average 18 offensive holding flags this season, and San Francisco drew 17.
Overall, though, Boger's crew called an average of 11.42 penalties in 12 games this season, one penalty below average.
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Boger came under criticism for not ejecting Cam Newton in Week 16, when the Panthers quarterback bumped Boger while arguing a call.
Boger's lenience could come into play Sunday. The Ravens led the league with 14 unnecessary roughness penalties, including four roughing-the-passer flags. The 49ers drew 12 unnecessary roughness calls.
Boger's crew worked two San Francisco games this season, the 49ers' 45-3 win over Buffalo in Week 5 and their 45-31 divisional playoff win over Green Bay.
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