Eagles-Patriots Referee Assignments Promise a Brutal Start to the Season

Eagles-Patriots Week 1 referee Shawn Hochuli could have a negative impact on the matchup. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Eagles-Patriots Week 1 referee Shawn Hochuli could have a negative impact on the matchup. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

An unfortunate part of every NFL season is how much attention the referees end up bringing to themselves. In a perfect world, fans would simply forget the refs are even there. They shouldn’t be getting lots of screen time and stealing headlines, but the NFL world is far from perfect.

For Eagles fans, things could get ugly early. The referee assignments for Week 1 are set, and the Eagles vs. Patriots officiating crew is not one that we like to see.

Eagles vs Patriots Referees Week 1

The Eagles vs. Patriots officiating crew will be led by Shawn Hochuli and includes the following referees:

  • Head Referee: Shawn Hochuli (#83)
  • Umpire: Tony Kilens (#77)
  • Down Judge: Patrick Holt (#5)
  • Line Judge: Tim Podraza (#47)
  • Field Judge: Jason Ledet (#72)
  • Side Judge: Chad Hill (#125)
  • Back Judge: Rich Martinez (#39)
  • Replay Official: Tyler Cerimeli
  • Replay Assistant: Mark Bitar

This is almost the exact same crew that Hochuli led last year, with the only changes being the addition of rookie referee Jason Ledet and the addition of 16-year vet Tim Podraza, who was on Ron Torbert’s crew last year.

That means we shouldn’t expect to see many changes from what was one of the most flag-happy crews in the NFL.

That 2022 number wasn’t just an anomaly, either. Hochuli’s crew has been top-three in flags thrown in each of the last three seasons.

You never want to see an officiating crew let things get totally out of hand by refusing to throw any flags, but it’s clear that Hochuli and co. believe that they should have an impact on the game. And that’s the exact opposite of what the rest of the world believes.

Maybe something will have changed for the group this offseason, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

Hochuli is going to try to get himself as much screen time as Jalen Hurts on Sunday, making sure everyone knows who’s officiating the game. That’s going to make for a painful experience for fans, and Hochuli won’t care one bit.

If you’re a bettor, Hochuli has one clear trend that stands out: the Under tends to hit when he’s reffing. That’s boring for fans, but it could make a boring game a little more exciting if you’re cashing in on it.

And for Week 1, you can really double down on how much you’re able to cash in. With FanDuel Sportsbook’s new-user offer (available at the exclusive link below), you get a $200 bonus guaranteed PLUS a $100 discount on NFL Sunday Ticket just for placing your first wager on the Eagles game. It doesn’t even matter if that first bet wins or loses, you get the entire bonus package either way!