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Replay reversals don’t come easy

2014 final replay statistics

The replay reversal rate crashed this year, based largely on the interventionist role vice president of officiating Dean Blandino played this year. Referees were allowed to consult with the officiating command center starting this year, but Jarrett Bell of USA Today reports that Blandino and senior supervisor Al Riveron are now “the two deciding officials,” a characterization that the league declined to comment to Football Zebras on. Blandino, for better or for worse, has strictly applied the standard-of-evidence criteria this season. Last year, coaches challenges were successful 52.2 percent of the time; that rate is just below 40 this season. Including reviews initiated by the replay official, the overall reversal rate dropped from 44.2 percent last season to 36.7 percent this year.

Also of note:

  • Teams with coaching vacancies: 5/18 (27 percent)
  • Teams with first-round byes: 4/19 (21 percent)
  • Teams finishing last in their division: 12/36 (33 percent)
  • Bill Belichick, 2013-14: 0/4
  • Challenges by Tony Sparano as Raiders interim head coach: 0 (12 games)
  Coach     Reversals Challenges Success %
1 Marvin Lewis * CIN 4 5 .800
2 Chuck Pagano * IND 5 7 .714
3 Bruce Arians * AZ 4 6 .667
  Sean Payton   NO 4 6 .667
  Dennis Allen OAK 2 3 .667
  Chip Kelly   PHI 4 6 .667
  Mike McCoy   SD 2 3 .667
8 Doug Marrone BUF 3 5 .600
9 Jason Garrett * DAL 4 7 .571
  Lovie Smith   TB 4 7 .571
11 Marc Trestman CHI 1 2 .500
  Mike Pettine   CLE 2 4 .500
  Jim Caldwell * DET 2 4 .500
  Tom Coughlin   NYG 2 4 .500
  Jeff Fisher   STL 1 2 .500
16 Ron Rivera * CAR 3 7 .429
17 John Fox *† DEN 2 5 .400
Replay official   NFL 96 274 .350
18 Andy Reid   KC 2 6 .333
  Mike Zimmer   MIN 1 3 .333
  Mike Tomlin * PIT 2 6 .333
21 Gus Bradley   JAX 2 7 .286
  Pete Carroll * SEA 2 7 .286
23 Joe Philbin   MIA 1 4 .250
24 Rex Ryan NYJ 1 5 .200
25 Bill O’Brien   HOU 1 6 .167
26 Jim Harbaugh SF 1 7 .143
  Ken Whisenhunt   TEN 1 7 .143
28 John Harbaugh * BAL 1 8 .125
  Jay Gruden   WAS 1 8 .125
30 Mike Smith ATL 0 1 .000
31 Bill Belichick * NE 0 3 .000
32 Mike McCarthy * GB 0 4 .000
  Coach’s total     65 165 .394

(2013 final replay statistics)

Totals including the replay official: 161/439, .366

*Playoff team. †No longer with team. Source: NFL game statistics, regular season only.

Ben Austro
Ben Austro
Ben Austro is the editor and founder of Football Zebras and the author of So You Think You Know Football?: The Armchair Ref's Guide to the Official Rules (on sale now)
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