Bill Vinovich will be the referee for the clash between the Panthers and Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, which will greatly help in cementing the playoff landscape of the NFC. Carl Cheffers and his crew have the week off.
In recent weeks, the officiating department has been moving around the assignments of some crews after the schedule has been set.
All games are on Sunday and are listed below based on their impact on the playoff picture. Potential (or clinched) playoff seeds are shown in superscripted numbers, with zeros indicating teams that have not clinched a playoff spot. Times listed are Eastern.
See our partner site, Quirky Research, for more on the tiebreakers in the NFC seeds and AFC seeds.
Sunday, Dec. 31
Game affecting division and wild card
- Panthers2/3/4/5 at Falcons6/0 (4:25 p.m.) — Bill Vinovich
Game to clinch division
- Saints3/4/5 at Buccaneers (4:25 p.m.) — Walt Anderson
Games for wild card qualification
- Bengals at Ravens5/6/0 (4:25 p.m.) — Ron Torbert
- Raiders at Chargers6/0 (4:25 p.m.) — Ed Hochuli
- Bills5/6/0 at Dolphins (4:25 p.m.) — Jeff Triplette
- Cardinals at Seahawks6/0 (4:25 p.m.) — Walt Coleman
- Jaguars3 at Titans5/6/0 (4:25 p.m.) — Tony Corrente
Games with top seed implications
- Bears at Vikings2/3 (1 p.m.) — Craig Wrolstad
- Jets at Patriots1/2 (1 p.m.) — Brad Allen
- Browns at Steelers1/2 (1 p.m.) — Jerome Boger
Game affecting other conference seedings
- 49ers at Rams3/4 (4:25 p.m.) — Terry McAulay
No playoff implications
- Texans at Colts (1 p.m.) — Gene Steratore
- Packers at Lions (1 p.m.) — Pete Morelli
- Washington at Giants (1 p.m.) — John Hussey
- Cowboys at Eagles1 (1 p.m.) — John Parry
- Chiefs4 at Broncos (4:25 p.m.) — Clete Blakeman
End of regular season
NFC tiebreakers entering Week 17
AFC Tiebreakers entering Week 17
The Super Bowl officials are the officials chosen for the Super Bowl, the championship game of the National Football League (NFL), the largest and most prestigious professional American footballleague.
The NFL's highest-rated official at each position is selected to work the Super Bowl. This is determined by the league using an evaluation system to grade each official's calls during the year. However, only officials who have worked in the league for at least five seasons and have previously worked during the playoffs are eligible to officiate in a Super Bowl. A referee cannot work the Super Bowl at that position until he has been a referee for at least three seasons, while also meeting the five-year minimum service requirement.
This has not always been the case. From Super Bowl I to Super Bowl IV, when the game was the "AFL (American Football League)-NFL World Championship Game", the officiating crews consisted of members from both leagues. Then for Super Bowl XXXVIII and Super Bowl XXXIX, the NFL selected the highest rated crew during the regular season. This was a reaction to several officiating mistakes during the 2002-03 playoffs, and the league felt that preserving the familiarity and cohesiveness of the officiating crews during the postseason might reduce the errors.
List of officials
Note: A seven-official system was not used until Super Bowl XIII. Beginning with Super Bowl XXXIII, the league swapped position titles with the field judge and back judge.
AFL-NFL World Championships
Number of appearances
Throughout NFL history, five officials have been selected to work five Super Bowls and eight have been assigned to four Super Bowls. Jerry Markbreit is the only official to work four Super Bowls as the referee.
|Bob Beeks||XIV, XVI, XVIII, XXI, XXIII|
|Ron Botchan||XX, XXVII, XXIX, XXXI, XXXIV|
|Jack Fette||V, VIII, X, XIII, XXII|
|Al Jury||XX, XXII, XXIV, XXVIII, XXXIV|
|Tom Kelleher||IV, VII, XI, XV, XIX|
|Al Conway||IX, XIV, XVI, XXII|
|Art Demmas||XIII, XVII, XXV, XXVII|
|Fritz Graf||V, VIII, XV, XVIII|
|Stan Javie||II, VIII, X, XIV|
|Jerry Markbreit||XVII, XXI, XXVI, XXIX|
|Tony Veteri||II, VII, XII, XV|
|Jerry Bergman||XIII, XVI, XVIII, XXIII|
|Carl Paganelli||XXXIX, XLI, XLVI, XLVIII|
Notes and references
- Super Bowl Notes, Quotes & Anecdotes: Games I-XL. NFL. 2006. p. 123.