Who are the refs for the AFC Championship Game, Chiefs-Ravens?

NFL referee Shawn Smith
NFL referee Shawn Smith / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs are facing off in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.

The Chiefs have been here before. Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid are playing in their sixth AFC Championship Game in six years, hoping to lock in their fourth Super Bowl appearance in that span.

The Ravens are in their first conference title game since 2012 when John Harbaugh's team last won the Super Bowl. This is Lamar Jackson's first bite at the apple.

No one likes to admit it, but as much as Mahomes and Jackson will impact the game, the referees may also have a role to play.

Shawn Smith is the referee for the AFC Championship Game

Ravens fans don't like the appointment because Smith's crew has officiated more road wins than any other in the NFL this season. Most home teams win 55.9 percent of their games. In games overseen by Smith's crew, the home team won just 40.8 percent of the time.

At the very least, Baltimore may not be able to rely on a perceived home field advantage with the refs.

Chiefs fans would counter that Smith's crew didn't help them when they lost to the Lions the last time they were in charge of a Kansas City road game.

Inevitably, one side will have a gripe while one side will be too busy enjoying a win to care about the refs.

That's the way it goes in the NFL. It's best when the officials go unnoticed, but that's a rare occurrence. There's always something to complain about.

The Chiefs and Ravens are due to kick off at 3:00 p.m. ET on CBS. The winner of the game will move on to play in the Super Bowl against the winner of Sunday night's game between the Lions and 49ers.

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