The Kansas City Chiefs and the Referee Advantage

Chiefs fans of good news! Shawn Hochuli will ref Kansas City’s AFC Divisional round game against the Buffalo Bills.

Hochuli officiated 10 Chiefs games in the Patrick Mahomes era, with KC going 8-2. In the playoffs, KC is 2-0 with Hochuli reffing.

While that may appear to be good news for the AFC’s No. 3 seed, it certainly seems to be the opposite for Buffalo. The Bills were penalized 40 times for 347 yards in the last four games that Hochuli reffed. That includes this season’s OT loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

In that one game, Hochuli called Buffalo for 11 penalties — one more than he called against New England in two games. The Bills lost the sixth-most yards under a Hochuli-led crew this year.

“Hochuli is known for calling a penalty-filled game,” wrote Chris Owen for WYRK radio’s website. “He’s also the head official for the Bills game in Philadelphia, where the crew missed an obvious horse-collar tackle on Josh Allen, which likely would have resulted in a red zone touchdown.”

This data doesn’t help the ongoing notion that Kansas City gets most of the calls in its favor. In those two wins with Hochuli and crew officiating, the Chiefs were only hit with nine penalties for 99 yards.

Back in October, Pete Grathoff of the Kansas City Star wrote about two fourth-quarter calls — PI against L’Jarius Sneed, and no flag for him removing his helmet — that fans/viewers believe were “slanted in favor of the Chiefs.”

He says KC doesn’t get any special treatment, because Dean Blandino, the former ref turned Fox Sports rules analyst said so. Blandino said in an interview on The Drive, a Kansas City sports radio station (KCSP 610 AM).