NFC West penalty watch: Saints-49ers ref

One NFL head coach rated John Parry as the league's best referee for a confidential survey back in 2008.

San Francisco 49ers fans might recall Parry for the disputed chop-block call he made against running back Frank Gore at Baltimore in Week 12. The flag wiped out a 75-yard touchdown pass to Ted Ginn Jr. in a game the 49ers lost, 16-6.

That call comes to mind this week after the NFL assigned Parry's crew to work the 49ers' divisional playoff game against New Orleans on Saturday.

Coach John Harbaugh called the ruling in Baltimore "unfortunate" and "unlucky" given what he considered that specific penalty's somewhat inconsistent enforcement.

That was the only chop-block penalty Parry's crew called during the regular season. The NFL did not fine Gore for the block. I thought the call was technically accurate, at best, but it did not fulfill the intent of the rule, which was to protect players. Gore had already committed to deliver a low block when tackle Anthony Davis shoved the defender high.

With an assist from ESPN Stats & Information, I've put together a chart showing where Parry's crew ranks among the 17 crews in various penalty calls. The NFL shifts to all-star crews for championship games and the Super Bowl.

Parry's low ranking for unnecessary roughness appears offset, at least somewhat, by a higher number of calls for generic personal fouls.



2011 John Parry