Monday Night Football Was A Complete Mess

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What in the world did we all watch last night? 

There was a time when Monday Night Football was the “event” of the NFL weekend. It’s the last game of the NFL slate, placed in primetime, an opportunity for big-time players to make big-time plays with all eyes watching. 

The eyes that were watching Monday night’s game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Chicago Bears had to have been strained. 

In a wild 29-27 win for the Steelers, we had it all. And not in a good way. 

Horrendous — and I mean horrendous — officiating, undisciplined football, and some of the worst announcing you’ll ever hear on a sports broadcast. 

The Bears erased a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit and took the lead on a Darnell Mooney touchdown from Justin Fields with 1:46 left in the game. But two offside penalties by the Bears helped the Steelers get Chris Boswell into field goal range, knocking through a 40-yarder for the lead. Cairo Santos’s 65-yard field goal attempt fell short to move the Steelers to 5-3 on the season. 

“We’re finding ways to win the game,” Ben Roethlisberger said. “Played well enough. Not great. But offensively speaking, we’re just doing enough right now.”

Now that the final result is out of the way, it’s time to discuss just what in the heck we watched last night. 

Officiating

Disgusting. Embarrassing. Shameful. These are just a few of the words that can be used to describe the officiating from last night. 

There were 17 accepted penalties for 145 total yards on Monday night — twelve on the Bears — and more than a handful were highly questionable. 

In the third quarter, the refs missed a roughing the passer penalty by Alex Highsmith of the Steelers. 

Earlier in the game, the Bears had been flagged for roughing the passer on a very similar hit on Roethlisberger. 

“I told the ref Big Ben just got that call,” Fields told reporters after the game, “you gotta call it both ways.”

And then there was the egregious. 

Late in the fourth quarter, the Bears got the stop they needed, with Bears linebacker Cassius Marsh sacking Roethlisberger on third-and-8 to force a punt. 

Marsh — activated off of the practice squad on Monday — took a few steps toward the Steelers bench before running back to the sideline. On the way to the sideline, Marsh made contact with referee Tony Corrente, who threw a flag for taunting, giving Pittsburgh a new set of downs. 

“First of all, keep in mind that taunting is a point of emphasis this year,” Corrente said in a pool report. “And with that said, 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.

“I didn’t judge [the contact] as anything that I dealt with. That had nothing to do with it. It was the taunting aspect.”

Marsh told reporters after the game that Corrente “hip-checked” him, calling it “inappropriate.” 

“On my way to the sideline, I got hip-checked by the ref. It’s pretty clear,” Marsh said after the game. “If I was to do that to a ref or even touch a ref, we get kicked out of the game and possibly suspended and fined. I just think that that was incredibly inappropriate.”

“I think that one was just bad timing. It’s pretty clear to everybody who saw it that I wasn’t taunting,” Marsh said. “I’ve been doing the celebration my whole career. It’s just sad to see stuff like that happen in a close game like that.”

Announcing

Bring back Jon Gruden. Please. 

Monday night’s game was as bad a call of a football game as I’ve heard in my 32 years. 

The crew of Steve Levy, Louis Riddick, and Brian Griese, made mistake after mistake, at one point spending an entire segment of the broadcast discussing Steelers running back Najee Harris’ childhood, who spent some time homeless while being raised by his parents in California. 

“Even when he got to [University of] Alabama on a full ride, got the fancy dorm room, he spent the first few months in Alabama sleeping on the floor,” Levy said of Harris. “He said he’s just more comfortable, more used to that.”

Shortly after the game, Harris took to Twitter to refute the story. 

Then there was Riddick, wondering out loud whether the Bears should go for two instead of kicking the extra point that would give Chicago the lead with 1:46 left in the game. 

And then Levy finished off the game strong, claiming that Cairo’s 65-yard attempt hit the crossbar, when in reality it wasn’t close. 

What happened to Monday Night Football?

Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to [email protected].

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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