Ninth-year NFL referee Ron Torbert and his crew have been assigned as the officials for the AFC Championship Game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals.
Torbert hasn't officiated a Chiefs game this season, but fans will remember him from 2021, and not in a good way. He was an unscheduled white-hat substitution for John Hussey against the Bengals during their Week 17 regular-season loss. During that game, Torbert's crew called 10 penalties for 83 yards against Kansas City. It was the second-most penalties the Chiefs had called against them in a single game that season.
If we're only considering the 2022 NFL season as evidence, Torbert and his crew have been among the best in the league in terms of penalty volume. In 16 games officiated, their 172 penalties called are good for the fourth-fewest in the NFL. That said, once a penalty is called by Torbert's crew, expect it to stand. Their 20 dismissed penalties are the second-fewest in the NFL this season. They've officiated fairly even on the home (89) and away (83) fronts so far this season.
As far as how this crew officiates, they're definitely not a "let them play" crew and they almost always side with the offense. Torbert's 17 defensive pass interference penalties tie for the second-most in the league this season. For comparison's sake, they've only called four offensive pass interference penalties all year. The Chiefs lead the NFL in defensive pass interference penalties this season (14) while the Bengals are right around the league average (6). Basically, expect Ja'Marr Chase to continue to get away with pushing off and Chiefs defenders to be penalized for any contact downfield.
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Story originally appeared on Chiefs Wire