Officiating crews usually stick together during the NFL regular season, only to be mixed and matched in the playoffs based on season-long performance and seniority. But with Monday night’s game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams taking on outsize importance usually reserved for the postseason, the NFL decided that only the best will do. As first reported by Ed Werder and then more fully fleshed out by ESPN’s Kevin Seifert, the league is sending an “all-star” team of officials to the game, with referee Clete Blakeman working alongside two members of his usual crew: umpire Ramon George and down judge Dana McKenzie. The other five officials will be selected from three other officiating crews.

According to Werder, Blakeman and his two partners will be replacing Jerome Boger and two of his team members. Three usual members of Boger’s crew — line judge Rusty Baynes, field judge Dale Shaw and back judge Tony Steratore — will be retained for Monday’s game, along with side judge Brad Freeman (who usually works under referee Clay Martin) and replay official Jim Lapetina (who usually works under Brad Allen).

“An officiating source said Sunday that the five officials added to Monday night’s crew are all highly respected and have performed well this season,” Seifert reported, adding that an NFL spokesman declined to provide details over why the mixed crew was selected.

Blakeman was the referee for Super Bowl 50 in 2016, a game that passed without controversy. He also led the crew in last season’s AFC championship game.

As for how this move could affect Monday night’s game:

The total points scored has gone under the Vegas total in five of eight games refereed by Blakeman this year.

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