The Los Angeles Rams are back in the playoffs after a brief one-year hiatus. They will face the NFC North winners the Detroit Lions in their highly anticipated playoff matchup on Sunday.
As the Rams look to carry their four-game winning streak into the postseason, they will hope that the contests is solely decided by the players on the field. However, that will be up to the officiating crew to make sure that happens.
On Monday, NFL announced the referee assignments for each of the six games this weekend.
Rams vs. Lions officiating crew for NFC Wild Card game
Craig Wrolstad was announced as the lead referee for the matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and the Detroit Lions. Since Sean McVay took over in 2017, Wrolstad officiated nine Rams games. Los Angeles is 3-6 in these games.
This 33% winning percentage is in stark contrast with the 70-45 record and 61% winning percentage McVay had during his time. The Rams have lost the last three games officiated by Wrolstad, most recently in their Week 7 defeat to the Pittsburgh Steelers at home.
To make matters worse, home teams have a 10-6 record in the 16 games Wrolstad officiated in 2023. The Rams will certainly hope for that trend to not continue.
One possible silver lining for the Rams could be Wrolstad's tendency to call penalties on home teams. According to Pro Football Reference, Wrolstad is more likely to call penalties on the home team relative to the league standard with 53.5% of his penalties going against the hosts.
The officiating will hopefully only play a minor role in determining who advances to face the winner of the Green Bay Packers-Dallas Cowboys game in the next round. But the Rams could use any help they can get going up against the high-powered Lions offense which averaged the third-most yards per game in the league.
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