The Bears saw a lot of yellow flags during their “Monday Night Football” game against the Steelers, and not just the Terrible Towels waving in the stands at Heinz Field.
Chicago was called for a season-high 12 penalties in its game vs. the Steelers, costing them 115 yards in total. But there was one penalty in the fourth quarter that allowed the home team to extend the drive and kick a field goal in what was ultimately a 29-27 win for Pittsburgh.
MORE: Will Matt Nagy be fired by the Bears?
The Bears trailed the Steelers 23-20 with 3:40 left in the game. On third-and-8, Bears linebacker Cassius Marsh — who was activated from Chicago’s practice squad ahead of Monday’s game — sacked Ben Roethlisberger for a loss of 7 yards to bring up fourth-and-15 at the Chicago 40. This gave the Bears a chance to put themselves in the lead and possibly secure a win.
Well, until Marsh was flagged for taunting. The linebacker took several steps toward the Steelers’ benc, but didn’t appear to direct a taunt toward anyone.
It’s also worth noting the official, Tony Corrente, appeared to stick his hip out as Marsh attempted to jog by him.
Regardless, this 11th penalty for the Bears brought the Steelers offense back onto the field for a fresh set of downs at the Bears 39. They ended their drive with a completed 52-yard field goal from Chris Boswell — his second of 50 or longer — to extend their lead to 26-20 with 2:52 left in the game.
MORE: Meet the Khalil Herbert, Bears rookie running back in for David Montgomery
The Bears turned it around in the next drive and scored a touchdown to put them up 27-26. In a turn of events, the Steelers were flagged for encroachment with a 5-yard penalty on the point-after attempt, giving kicker Cairo Santos an easier attempt. The Steelers retook the lead with another Boswell kick, this time from 40 yards, to retake the lead at 29-27. The Bears attempted a 65-yard field goal, though Santos’ attempt fell well short of the mark in the loss.
The taunting penalty wasn’t the only call that fans criticized on Monday. Earlier in the game, a Jimmy Graham touchdown was called back due to a low block penalty on the Bears offense. The drive ended with a field goal.
MORE: What happened to Mitchell Trubisky?
Here are some reactions from the taunting call on Marsh.
Taunting? That #Bears Cassius Marsh roundhouse-kick was the taunt. If they called the penalty after that, it’s a joke.
— Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) November 9, 2021
The #NFL is at it again. The no fun league. There’s nothing wrong with letting these guys have a little fun and talk a little trash. Guy gets a huge sack against the team that cut him. C’mon NFL. You’re out of control.. The emotion drives the game. #Bears #MNF #CassiusMarsh
— Pop (@financejonE) November 9, 2021
A) That’s the dumbest rule in sports.
B) Cassius Marsh has to be smarter than that in that spot, simply because we’ve seen that call made for nine weeks, whether it’s right or wrong.
C) The’s the dumbest rule in sports.
— Patrick K. Flowers (@PatrickKFlowers) November 9, 2021
Cassius Marsh was called for taunting for looking in in the general direction of the Steelers bench.
— lsw.eth (@LisaSabinWilson) November 9, 2021