Is the coach’s challenge system the advantage that separates the master tacticians from the also-rans? This season that is not the case: not only did only four playoff teams fare better than even, but three teams that beat the house fired their coaches. In fact, all but one of the teams earning a first-round bye are in the bottom five in red-flag success, with those teams combining in a 2-for-15 success rate.
The Ravens’ John Harbaugh saw a dozen calls he didn’t like, but he also had the most reversals (tied with four other coaches). Cowboys coach Jason Garrett followed up his 5-for-5 season in 2012 with an “oh-fer” on two replay challenges.
The percentage of overturns that are on reviews initiated by the replay official are shown about two-thirds down the list at 38%. Of course, there is no disadvantage for the replay official to be wrong (loss of timeout), nor is the replay booth limited in the number of challenges.
|Gary Kubiak/Wade Phillips||†||HOU||3||5||.600|
Totals including replay official: 186/421, .442. *- Qualified for 2013 playoffs. †No longer with team. Source: NFL game statistics, regular season only. Image: NFL coaches at the offseason owners meeting; Bill Belichick and Sean Payton are not pictured (NFL handout photo/Brian McCarthy).