Anyone who watched last week’s Monday Night Football match between the Bears and Steelers knows that the officiating was questionable, at best. There was the low block called on James Daniels that wiped away a touchdown, several missed roughing the passer calls after Justin Fields took late hits, and of course the Cassius Marsh taunting penalty that dominated headlines for the following week. The NFL publicly stood by the officiating, and doubled down on the controversial taunting call by fining Marsh after the game. But according to a report from Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport, behind closed doors there are some in the NFL who recognize the officials dropped the ball.
“Privately, members of the NFL's officiating department who reviewed the game acknowledged that referee Tony Corrente and his crew erred on at least three separate critical calls and non-calls that went against Chicago in that 29-27 loss,” wrote Pelissero and Rapoport.
The low block and taunting were the most critical calls of the game. The first penalty wiped away a Fields touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham, and the Bears were later forced to kick a field goal. The taunting penalty gave Pittsburgh a fresh set of downs when they were set to punt. They later kicked a field goal of their own.
Add together those two moments and it’s a seven-point swing in the Steelers’ favor. The Bears ended up losing by two points.