Referee Tony Corrente offers unsatisfying explanation of flag that negated Bears touchdown

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The Bears had a touchdown taken off the board on Monday Night Football when Chicago’s James Daniels was flagged for an illegal low block on Pittsburgh’s T.J. Watt. Referee Tony Corrente’s explanation won’t satisfy the Bears.

Although Watt appeared to be inside the tight end box when Daniels went low to block him, Corrente said he was outside the tight end box.

“The new rule this year is there should be no contact below the waist to any player outside of the tight end box. And this player initiated low contact to a player outside the tight end box,” Corrente said.

It also wasn’t even clear if Daniels ever touched Watt. Replay angles were inconclusive, but Watt appeared to avoid Daniels. If there was any contact, it was incidental. But Corrente didn’t see it that way.

“I have to judge that there was contact, and that’s what I judged,” Corrente said.

The call was incredibly costly for the Bears, as they had to settle for a field goal after the 15-yard penalty wiped their touchdown off the board. That essentially means the call cost the Bears four points in a game they lost 29-27.

106 responses to “Referee Tony Corrente offers unsatisfying explanation of flag that negated Bears touchdown

  1. Well this will be a day of discussion.

    Where did this affect the result as per the betting lines?

  2. This, plus this same ref dropping a shoulder to initiate contact with a player, then throw a flag for taunting.

    Tin Foil Hats, this is your time, the fix conspiracy is in.

  3. The NFL needs to start holding these guys accountable. Billions of dollars they bring and these part timers can decide when a drive stops, when a team can get a fresh set of downs and what team is allowed to score.

    This season’s officiating has been the worst I’ve ever seen and there is zero recourse or oversight.

  4. Terrible officiating at a crucial time in an NFL game? What an entirely surprising thing to happen.

  5. Bring on the scab Referees.
    These union guys are getting out of control.
    It’s not just one bad call in every game.. referees are now becoming game changers and penalty yardage is becoming stat leaders.
    Would give anything to see a head referee sweating at the podium answering questions.

  6. Well he was clearly pulling for the Steelers last night as he single handedly gave that game to Pittsburgh. The mythical calls taking away the touchdown and the taunting penalty against Marsh prove such…

  7. Once again the referees decide the outcome of a game. They may as well just tell the trams who will win and save everyone time and effort.

  8. After watching the Sunday night and Monday night games, one thing stands out. The disparity in penalties between the teams in both games. And some of the calls were just ridiculous, as pointed out by the commentators. There needs to be a process that holds referees accountable for their actions. Instead, we get “oops, my bad” and we continue on. There’s no reason you can’t “keep an eye” on certain refs to see if they are up to the job. Referees shouldn’t be immune to firings if it helps the sport.

  9. Corrente always likes to be part of the game. He should be fined, if that was even possible.

  10. A weak taunting calls kept the Steelers drive alive for the game winning FG. I have noticed this all season. Refs are determining so many games this season with terrible calls. The roughing the passer penalties have got out of hand. You just can’t touch a QB at all anymore. A simple hand hitting the helmet just enough to move the helmet gets flagged. QB’s may as well wear a red jersey during the game.

  11. The element of gambling and the horrific execution of complicated and judgmental rules is a steaming pile of crap for the NFL. These calls need to be subject to the “eye in the sky.” A bad day for a referee should not cost a team a win. The players and coaches sacrifice so much and they and the fans deserve a much higher level of performance from the game officials.

  12. Tony was the MVP of the game plain and simple. Needs to be suspended for conduct detrimental to the league. He was terrible.

  13. Some of these refs think they are as big as the players. They should focus on being unseen, unnoticed. Leaning in.. the bad call, these are the reasons lots of folks think the MFL is more like WWE than ever. The league is a joke, look at some of the hits fields took, if that was Brady Rogers Wilson.. flags everywhere

  14. Turned this game off after the crappy taunting call.. felt the ref’s favored the Steelers all night. What great Drama Big Ben in his final year…Makes me wonder about the veracity of the officiating across the board. It’s been extra bad but seems to be getting worse…

  15. The ref already had it in his head he was going to flag Marsh for something. His hand was on the flag way before he purposefully initiated contact. It honestly felt like the refs wanted Pittsburgh to win.

    Signed an obvious Pat’s fan.

  16. anyone still think these sporting events are aboveboard? with literally millions at stake, you can rest assured the fix is in

  17. The nfl has too many rules. They do it to themselves. They make up rules using imaginary boxes – tackle boxes, tight end boxes. If these boxes exist – why isn’t the field marked. Could you imagine if the 3 point line in basket ball, or the goalie crease in soccer or hockey wasn’t marked – and ref were just allowed to impose their imaginary limits. No one wants to see or hear the refs.

  18. The NFL refs are the best in the world. This call was a judgement call. They don’t get every call right. Nobody does everything right. They don’t want to employ a workable replay system, so we have to accept the results. We could complain about calls in every game, if that’s the reason we watch football. To each his own.

  19. From Corennte’s viewpoint, Marsh looked like he could have been taunting the punter also. Face it, he celebrated a long time after the sack – that didn’t help him. Also, does a team that gets THREE neutral zone infractions really deserve to win? Both teams had reason to gripe. Did Goodwin have control of that catch? Or it sure looked like Freirmuth got speared on the catch during the last drive. Bears have no one to blame but themselves.

  20. He did make contact with Watt. At very edge of box so close there. I’d say crappy call let em play. But certainly wasn’t phantom call accooto rule book either. Cut Ray Ray McCloud this morning. Steelers up 10 n getting back with 6 1/2 minutes left. All you have to do is not fumble, just go down so that your team cannot lose game. MvCloud fumbles. No discipline Tomlin

  21. Did we just witness the first obvious gambling related piece of dirty officiating since legalized betting hit the NFL?

  22. You know what, at the very minimum at least he addressed it. I’m so tired of terrible calls and the refs don’t have to justify their call. If players are forced to talk to the media after games or face a fine, so should refs

  23. There were a lot more than one absolutely horrible call in the game against the Bears. This was hands down the worst officiating game I have seen since a Packer game.

  24. Corrente is a terrible referee. This game is difficult enough to officiate under the best of circumstances. When you have a clown like Corrente it is impossible.

  25. Head scratching calls every week. The roughing the passer call on Sunday night against Aaron Donald was atrocious and I was cheering for the Titans.

  26. NFL Refs are not very good at reffing. They are lawyers and dentists.
    Can we start using MLB umpires for NFL games???

  27. I don’t care about either team, but it sure felt like Pitt was getting some home cooking by the refs.

  28. A loss is a loss but the Bears played with more heart last night than I’ve seen all year. My only whine is Fields got clocked well after a play more than once and no call.

  29. Didn’t Corrente also initiate contact with Cassius Marsh & then threw a flag for taunting in the 4th quarter to invalidate a sack. Instead of a 4th down with 3 minutes left in the game, it gave the Steelers a first down.

    Does Corrente have a history of bad calls or was Monday night an aberration?

    On that 4th quarter call, Corrente needs to be disciplined by the NFL.

  30. I’m still waiting for a bombshell report to come out proving that refs are fixing games. We all know it’s happening. They made it a little too obvious last night with Tony “Hip Check” Corrente.

  31. Ive been trying to tell you. That lean towards Marsh was essentially worse than the no-call in 2018. Announcers trying to say he was already pulling the flag, please. What took him so long if thats the case?

  32. I saw a Saints beanie at the store and set it down man. I cant keep contributing to this

  33. Corrente is just an awful official, his crews history of these types of terrible calls speaks for itself!

  34. If the NFL is going to cozy up to the gambling industry, it had better clean up the way it referees its events.

  35. OK, so this guy affected the game on multiple occasions last night that sure seems very suspicious. I can’t help but wonder about things like this and the new gambling craze that has taken over the NFL. Very sus.

  36. Somebody should check out how much he had riding on the outcome of the game. Two questionable calls by the same person, against the same team, in the same game does bring it into light. The NFL already has Congress looking over their shoulder in the WFT mess and if they are not careful they could be having them sitting in the chair next to them at the table on a regular basis!

  37. Imagine the Steelers benefitting from bad officiating! No way THAT would ever happen! I think the refs last night pooled their money and bet on Pittsburgh.

  38. This was pretty bad. Don’t care about either team, but the bears got hosed on that call. There was acouple others to. With all the gambling stuff going on the NFL better realize they are going to have to be even more careful than in the past.

    Speaking of gambling, has anyone noticed that sportscenter is turning into one of those old Sunday morning football betting shows?

  39. Someone should do a study on all calls during a game and timing of calls seems more and more refs are playing to betting lines. Making bad calls directly effecting the game and then making calls that dont effect the game against opposite teams just to even out penalty yards to make it look fair.

  40. Corrente is probably in trouble with his bosses for his performance last night. Steelers were favored by 7.

  41. I am NOT one to complain about officiating — but the Bears DID get hosed last night — and not only on that phantom block that wiped out the TD, but on roughing calls that were never made when the young QB got plowed.

  42. The officiating this season is the worst I think it’s ever been. I shouldn’t know these referees names. It’s irrelevant. The fact that I do tells me there is a lot to correct and it needs to start now. The players association should have it in the contract that the refs are held accountable for questionable and fishy calls.

  43. With billions of dollars in legal betting occurring, bettors on the Bears will say that the relatively low paid officials affected the outcome and wonder.

  44. Someone needs to file a lawsuit against the NFL and its referees accusing them of fixing games. All they would have to do is subpoena the game film and have a jury decide if these “suspect” calls hold water. With the legized gambling that is now allowed on NFL games millions of dollars are in the balance.

  45. No need to really actually watch the games anymore….just look at where the money is for Vegas. You can then determine who will win and who will lose. Shame ,it use to be such a great sport to watch when it was a true level playing field.

  46. I guess he didn’t “judge” that Fields took a shoulder to his helmet on the next play or that the Steelers player hitting Fields late the following play was a penalty either.

    He judged that the Steelers are swell guys.

  47. I didn’t have any horses in the race, but, man….the Bears were bludgeoned by bad call after bad call the entire night. In all the 30+ years I’ve been an avid football fan, I’ve never seen a more egregious display of ineptitude by officials as last night.

  48. Refs have been out of control for many years now. THe NFL does nothing about it so it will never change.

  49. Until the (very wealthy) NFL decides to hire professional full time refs, we are stuck with this crap.

    The officiating in this game, Burt also across the league sucks.

    It’s the worst of all pro sports

  50. He didn’t “see” it. He didn’t “think” it. In his own words, he FELT it. NFL official makes critical calls in pivotal moments of a game based on his FEELINGS. The competitive integrity of every game this clown works should be in question.

  51. So, 2 bad calls by Corrente pretty much cost the Bears the game. I’m not a fan of either team, but that was a really bad display of officiating last night.

  52. Why wouldn’t these types of calls get looked at like any other questionable play? Review it and if there isn’t absolute clear evidence the call was correct–like he was CLEARLY outside the box and contact was CLEARLY made–then the flag gets picked up. The tackle box can absolutely be definitively defined on replay far easier than it is for a ref on the field who can lose track of stuff as the players start moving around.

  53. Tony has a long, interesting history. Check out the missed calls from Saints-Pats 2013.

  54. This is nothing new. I been hearing these same complaints against the Steelers for the last decade.

  55. This is another reason why the NFL should make game officials do press conferences. In this case it showed nothing but utter stupidity!

  56. Pittsburgh is a very protected team that gets “questionable” calls a certain points in the game to ensure they stay/win the game. In general the refs will let them play until there is a TD, turnover (that isn’t obvious) change of downs, a certain players throwing punches under the guise of trying to knock the ball but should have been tossed out to throw a flag to negate that play greatly helping out a rather pedestrian Steelers. The problems the Steelers now are such a bad team the “help” only makes them a sub-par team.

  57. Certainly the James Daniels on T.J. Watt flag was wrong, and the Tony Corrente/Cassius Marsh incident was beyond bizarre. But the rest of you have sufficiently covered those talking points, so please allow me to drift only slightly off topic:
    While he was certainly wronged here, it bugs me that a mediocre career journeymen like Marsh is constantly over-celebrating the few big plays he contributes. When he isn’t celebrating he’s complaining loudly about something or somebody else, even trashing Bill Belichick and New England after they gave him a chance.
    There are multiple reasons this guy is only 29 and has already had stints with nine different teams — one of them twice. It seems as though his mouth and antics are always writing checks his play can’t cash. He may have been the victim last night, but I certainly didn’t lose any sleep over it (with sincere apoloogies to Bears fans).

  58. Pay them a little bit more and hold them accountable a lot bit more. Unfortunately for fans of the game, this problem is more of a feature than a bug to the new age NFL. It allows them complete subjectivity to control any close game at any point in time.

  59. In a national televised game, rookie QB Justin Fields showed the world he’s a legit QB. This was a huge awakening, and it happened in front of a national audience. Big Ben did his thing, and the Steelers won the game, but the real story should be Fields. The Bears haven’t had a QB in ages, and now it appears they might have found one. I’m disappointed that this isn’t the hot topic. I understand the world we’re living in, and all the tabloid stuff sells, but this is a huge NFL story. Good job Fields! Keep working.

  60. The real problem is the referee’s union which won’t allow the NFL to do anything to these incompetent officials. They need to start suspending them from working games when they make terrible calls like that and then double-down on their BS explanation. Maybe remove them from calling games for a month without pay to get them to think about the consequences when they make BS calls like that. Or better yet, on plays like that have someone in charge somewhere overrule dumb calls like that.

    These refs called the game like they had money on Pittsburgh.

  61. sad to say but the nfl isnt going to do anything about bad refs!! the only way something would ever even be discussed by them is if their bottom line is affected. and too many people watch the sport for them to really care. the fans have the power but reality is no one is going to stop watching and buying team gear so they have no motivation to fix anything.

  62. The league is pathetic. They’ve had a remedy for all this for years. Give each crew a sky judge who sits upstairs in the stadium and when he sees a missed call or blown call he has the power to stop the game and correct it. No, it won’t fix all their blunders but it can sure improve things. It’s just stupid they won’t vote this in.

  63. I am not going to say the game was fixed or anything like that. Seriously, if you believe thatstuff, why are you watching? But I will say from watching Corrente’s demeanor, body language, and facial expressions, he appeared to be very angry at the Bears. I don’t know if Nagy said something that set him off or what, but he was rather obviously upset about something. I am much more willing to believe that is why he was pretty clearly biased against the Bears rather than that he was willing to throw his entire career away to win a bet.

  64. Would not be surprised if the referees made out with some good cash after Monday night’s fixed football game between the Bears and the Steelers. Last night’s game was an embarrassment, what is the point of watching NFL games if the outcome is already pre-determined. Just call it for what it’s

    Did the refs also fix the Steelers vs Green Bay game when they nullified a blocked field goal with a phantom offsides call that took away a Steelers TD?

    Just trying to learn how this all works so I know how to bet.

  66. It is the Bears so does it really even matter? Not like they are calling bad calls all day on them and not like it is a team that actually has something to play for this year.

  67. This nonsense of bad calls by the refs will continue until the league allows ALL calls to be reviewed, including penalties. Just treat them like any other review.

  68. What the hell are the powers that be in New York watching? Or are they all Steeler Fans or what?? Corrente should never be allowed to ref another game. He and his crew are maybe betting on outcomes.

  69. I’m a Saints fan, so setting aside this guy’s crew being responsible for the worst obvious non-call in playoff history, his crew is consistently inconsistent. I watch too much NFL, and there’s always at least one “what?” call in the games he refs.

    I think the refs, all in all, do a good job, but there are exceptions. And the refusal of the NFL to go to an eye in the sky to correct the more obvious blown calls is eventually going to bite them. Also expecting a full on gambling controversy within the decade. Too much money is involved for greed not to get in the way.

    And, yep, da Bears got hosed last night.

  70. steelcurtainn says:
    November 9, 2021 at 10:10 am
    This is nothing new. I been hearing these same complaints against the Steelers for the last decade.

    I dont think this is about the Steelers themselves winning so much as it was to have the team favored by 7 to still win while the losing team covers, rather than an outright win by a team favored to lose by 7. Do the math here.

  71. Those of us PAC-12 fans remember Corrente as a horrible ref commissioner who had to resign in disgrace. How in the world did he make it to the NFL. I don’t even like Marsh but that taunting and intentional hip check was disgraceful. Also, why does the NFL have a 69 year old on the field trying to keep up with world class athletes?

  72. The same people joking about tin foil hats are the ones in denial about voting. Grow up.

  73. NFL going down the path that ruined the NBA – trying to ref a “preferred” outcome.

  74. Every official should be graded on his/her performance after every game by unbiased observers – just like folks like PFF grade the players. And officials who score below a determined score should be terminated.

  75. If this keeps up, people are just gonna start tuning out. I’m losing interest & i’m a lifer. I’m 46 and i’ve been watching since I was eight years old. It’s not as fun to watch when you know the refs are just gonna ruin it. I didn’t bother watching Baltimore vs. Miami & it was on regular tv. I would’ve given anything to watch football on tv last year after missing so much of it because of work.

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