Bad penalties and officiating were a big reason that the Chicago Bears lost.
The Bears had 12 penalties for 115 yards. A team with such a razor-thin margin for error can barely afford to commit say, five penalties, let alone double-digit penalties. In terms of dumb mental mistakes that fall on the players, the Bears had…
- Two false starts.
- Four offside calls were declined, but Trevis Gipson was offside the next play after Quinn’s second neutral zone infraction.
- Illegal use of the hands.
- Illegal formation–that wiped out a 16-yard gain by Robinson.
- 12-men on the field.
The rest of the calls were questionable at best and showed that the referees did have an impact on the outcome of the game. It was like head official Tony Corrente and his staff was being paid by the penalty. It was sure disproportionate as the Steelers only had five flags tossed their way.
In terms of questionable calls…
- Mario Edwards barely touched Big Ben on yet another Edwards roughing the passer penalty. These are starting to become a weekly habit of his.
- Jaylon Johnson being called for pass interference in the third quarter led to three points. The Steelers went up 23-13 on a 39-yard drive. The Steelers gained nine yards while the questionable 30-yard pass interference gained the rest.
Then there were just really bad calls:
- A touchdown was wiped out by a phantom James Daniels’ low-block penalty. The problem was he did not touch anyone and he was still in the tackle box.
- Corrente personally calling Cassius Marsh for taunting late in the fourth quarter allowed the Steelers drive to continue. The Steelers were able to add a field goal and go up 26-20. Marsh was cut by the Steelers a while back and made a big drive-ending sack. He did his self-labeled, trademarked roundhouse kick celebration, took five steps towards the Steelers sideline, and did nothing. That was enough for Corrente to consider it taunting. If that is taunting, Marsh should have done another roundhouse kick to get his money’s worth.
Those questionable calls literally did aid in the Steelers winning by two points. If the Daniels call is not made, touchdown Bears and a Chicago victory. If the Johnson pass interference and Marsh taunting call are not made, that is six points off the Steelers and a Bears victory.
It was not like the Steelers were without sin. Watt blew kisses towards the Bears sideline after a sack. No flag was thrown. I am sure he was blowing it to the fans but is it not ironic that he choose the side with the Bears on it?
Fields even pointed out to the referees after a missed roughing the passer call that they gave Roethlisberger the same call. I guess you have to win Super Bowls to get calls designed to protect you. Minkah Fitzpatrick hit Fields with his helmet as he went out of bounds on a run.
There was no flag thrown there. If that was Tom Brady, Fitzpatrick would have been thrown out of the league. On the final play of the game, the referees missed a defensive offsides call that was so clear on T.J. Watt.
I wonder if the Steelers sent Corrente a game ball.