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2017 AFC Championship Game Patriots vs Steelers: Terry McAulay named referee

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One of the NFL’s most experienced referees will work Sunday’s game.

The New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers are no strangers when it comes to postseason appearances. And neither is the referee who will work the AFC Championship Game between the two teams: According to footballzebras.com, Terry McAulay was assigned Sunday’s game.

The website had to say the following about McAulay:

Terry McAulay is in his 19th season as an NFL official and 16th as referee. McAulay will be working his 17th postseason assignment, including 2 Wild Card Playoffs, 4 Divisional Playoffs, 8 Conference Championships, and Super Bowls XXXIX, XLIII, and XLVIII. His Super Bowl assignments were all as a referee.

Sunday’s game will be the first Patriots game McAulay works this season. The last time he was the referee for one of New England’s contests was week 9 of the 2015 season, a game the Patriots won 27-10 over the Washington Redskins. McAulay called six penalties against the team for a loss of 43 yards.

While he did not yet call a Patriots game this season, the veteran referee was on the field for one Steelers game: He called Pittsburgh’s week 13 matchup against New York Giants. McAulay flagged the Steelers 12 times, with three more penalties being declined, for a loss of 115 yards. Pittsburgh still won the game 24-14, though.

In his 16 seasons as a referee, McAulay has called one prior game between New England and Pittsburgh. During the 2007 season, he was the referee for the two teams' week 14 meeting in Foxboro, which the Patriots won 34-13. The home team was flagged three times for a loss of 20 yards, while the visitors were called for six infractions, costing them 49 yards.

The entire crew for Sunday's AFC title game, which as usual for the postseason is an all-star ensemble, looks as follows (original crew of each member in parenthesis):

R 77 Terry McAulay

U 49 Rich Hall (Jerome Boger)

HL 106 Wayne Mackie (John Hussey)

LJ 9 Mark Perlman (Bill Vinovich)

FJ 3 Scott Edwards (Jeff Triplette)

SJ 41 Boris Cheek (Pete Morelli)

BJ 112 Tony Steratore (Jerome Boger

Replay: Mike Wimmer

Alternates: John Parry (R), Mark Steinkerchner (LJ), Rich Martinez (BJ)