Chiefs vs. Ravens AFC Championship Referee Assignment is Excellent News

Shawn Smith will serve as the lead official in Chiefs vs. Ravens
Shawn Smith will serve as the lead official in Chiefs vs. Ravens / Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL announced Monday that veteran referee Shawn Smith will serve as the lead official in the AFC Championship game between the Chiefs and Ravens in Baltimore.

That's relieving news, as Smith is well-regarded around the NFL and has no history of disastrous calls, unlike other officials that were potentially in the mix.

Here's the latest on the assignment and what it means for the matchup:

AFC Championship Game Referee Assignment

Smith has been with the NFL since 2015, spending a few seasons as an umpire before becoming a lead referee. Unlike officials such as Carl Cheffers, there's no embarrassing history between Smith and the Chiefs.

He was the lead referee in the Chiefs' loss to the Eagles earlier this season, though it's worth noting he was also refereeing when the Chiefs stunningly lost to the Colts in Week 3 of last season.

For the last four seasons, games with Smith as the lead official have, on average, just over 11 penalties per game.

All things considered, this is great news for fans hoping the game will be decided by the players on the field and not the referees themselves. With a strong history of fair officiating, Smith is the right man for what should be a thrilling contest.

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