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#pounditSaturday, September 24, 2022

Bears sound off on ‘BS’ taunting call against Cassius Marsh

Cassius Marsh taunting the Steelers

The Chicago Bears were on the receiving end of one of the most questionable penalty calls of the season, and they made sure to let everybody know about it afterwards.

With his team trailing the Pittsburgh Steelers late in the fourth quarter on Monday, Bears linebacker Cassius Marsh came up with a huge sack on third down to halt the Steelers’ drive. However, referee Tony Corrente flagged Marsh for a taunting penalty after Marsh stared down the Pittsburgh sideline without saying a word.

The optics were also especially bad for Corrente because he appeared to initiate contact with Marsh as he was calling Marsh for the penalty.

To be clear, Marsh did do a jump-kick celebration after recording the sack. But the flag did not come in until well after the celebration. Instead, it was thrown immediately following Marsh’s staredown of the opposing sideline.

The 15-yard taunting penalty resulted in a fresh set of downs for the Steelers and put them in field goal range. The Bears then had to burn two timeouts to stop the clock before Chris Boswell hit a 52-yard kick. Chicago did score a touchdown on their next drive to take a slim 27-26 lead. But after Pittsburgh answered back with another field goal of their own to go up 29-27, the Bears had just 30 seconds left to go 75 yards. Bears kicker Cairo Santos missed a 65-yard field goal attempt that fell well short as time expired.

After the game, Bears linebacker Roquan Smith criticized the taunting call.

“I thought it was a BS call,” Smith said, per Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic.

Smith summed up how most people felt about the penalty. Taunting calls in the NFL are out of control this season, and Monday’s penalty against Marsh and the Bears looked especially bad, on top of maybe costing them the game.

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