The NFL has a lot of explaining to do after the way Monday night’s game between the Chicago Bears and Pittsburgh Steelers was officiated.
It seemed at one point that a terrible pass interference call would be the storyline from the game.
However, that call was outdone by a controversial taunting penalty against Chicago defender Cassius Marsh.
Marsh was simply looking toward the Steelers bench and referee Tony Corrente decided that was worthy of a flag for taunting.
This prevented the Bears from getting off the field late and allowed the Steelers to take a six-point lead.
Of course, more scoring would happen in this wild game.
But this call may have been the difference between the Bears winning and losing as it gave the Steelers three extra points.
Corrente offered up an explanation following the game.
Referee Tony Corrente to pool reporter @AdamHoge on why he threw a late taunting flag on Chicago’s Cassius Marsh: “I saw the player, after he made a big play, run toward the bench area of the Pittsburgh Steelers and posture in such a way that I felt he was taunting them.” pic.twitter.com/KJH5ubgh9B
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 9, 2021
A Brutal Call
The NFL has made it a point of emphasis to enforce taunting this season.
The problem here is that Marsh was just looking at the Steelers bench after a big play.
He did not get in anyone’s face or really seem to say anything at all.
To make it worse, Corrente appeared to hip-check him before throwing the flag.
Tony Corrente leaned into the contact and then held his flag toss like a walk off three pointer. What a joke pic.twitter.com/MhNlNVewJx
— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) November 9, 2021
No one watching an NFL game wants to see the final result impacted by a silly penalty.
A bad interference call is one thing.
A controversial taunting call is on a whole new level of absurd in such an emotional sport.
The fact Corrente held the flag until after Marsh bumped him is curious as well because if the defender was taunting so egregiously, the flag could have come out right away.
A bad call was made to help decide a primetime game and it doesn’t appear anyone is going to be help responsible.