The book on Ravens-Pats ref Steratore

The NFL assigned referee Gene Steratore to Sunday's playoff game between the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots in Gillette Stadium.

A few notes about Steratore and his crew from the 2009 regular season:

  • Their 176 penalties tied for the second-fewest among all 17 NFL crews.

  • Don't expect many yellow flags late in the game. Steratore and his men called an NFL-low 37 penalties in the fourth quarter, and one in overtime.

  • Much has been made about Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis' criticism of NFL officials for treating Patriots quarterback Tom Brady like a porcelain doll in Week 4. Steratore detected roughing the passer just three times this year, tied for third-fewest.

  • They called defensive pass interference only nine times (tied for third fewest) and offensive pass interference four times.

  • Defenses shouldn't get too grabby. Steratore's crew called nine defensive holding penalties, in the upper third.

  • The only calls that Steratore's crew called into the double digits were offensive holding (34), false start (31) and defensive offside (13).