Football Zebras
Reference DeskCoaches’ reversal rate drops while replay booth reversal rate soars

Coaches’ reversal rate drops while replay booth reversal rate soars

2017 replay statistics

A year of many modifications to replay is coming to an end, and overall, the rate of reversals has dropped for the first time since the 2014 season. This year’s centralization of replay gave senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron and his team in the New York offices the ultimate decision on every play that is reviewed to maintain consistency among all games. This has become the subject of much scrutiny: while most plays that went to review were called controversially, yet correctly, others left fans a lot of room for interpretation. 

Most of these notable rulings came on plays that were subject to automatic review, more commonly scoring plays and turnovers. Among these were a fumble returned for a touchdown in Week 1, touchdowns reversed to touchbacks in Week 6 and Week 10, and process of the catch reversals in Week 15 and Week 16. Although the coaches’ success rate is approximately 47.6%, which is a slight decrease from last year’s reversal rate of 48.8%, the rate of reversals by the replay booth jumped from 37.8% in 2016 to 44.0% this season.

All replay rates by coach (and the replay booth) are shown below. (Updated to reflect the 2 booth challenges from the Super Bowl.)

  Coach     Reversals Challenges Success % Postseason Challenges Overall %
1 Dirk Koetter   TB 1 1 1.000      
2 Jim Caldwell DET 4 5 .800      
3 Marvin Lewis   CIN 5 7 .714      
4 Mike Zimmer * MIN 5 8 .625   0 .625
5 Mike McCarthy   GB 3 5 .600      
  Pete Carroll   SEA 3 5 .600      
  Jay Gruden   WAS 3 5 .600      
8 Bruce Arians AZ 4 7 .571      
  Bill O’Brien   HOU 4 7 .571      
  Doug Marrone * JAX 4 7 .571 2 2 .667
11 John Harbaugh   BAL 5 9 .556      
  Kyle Shanahan ¹ SF 5 9 .556      
13 Chuck Pagano IND 4 8 .500      
  Ron Rivera * CAR 3 6 .500   0 .500
  Sean McVay * ¹ LAR 3 6 .500   0 .500
  Anthony Lynn ¹ LAC 2 4 .500      
  Adam Gase   MIA 2 4 .500      
  Bill Belichick * NE 2 4 .500 0 1 .400
  Sean Payton * NO 2 4 .500 0 2 .333
  Steve Spagnuolo † ‡ NYG 1 2 .500      
Replay booth   NFL 110 247 .445 7 21 .437
21 Jack Del Rio OAK 4 9 .444      
22 John Fox CHI 3 7 .429      
  Mike Mularkey * † TEN 3 7 .429 1 .500
24 Dan Quinn * ATL 2 6 .333   0 .333
  Andy Reid   KC 2 6 .333      
  Doug Pederson * PHI 2 6 .333 1 1 .429
  Todd Bowles   NYJ 1 3 .333      
28 Hue Jackson   CLE 2 8 .250      
29 Sean McDermott * ¹ BUF 1 4 .250   0 .250
30 Jason Garrett   DAL 1 5 .200      
31 Ben McAdoo NYG 0 1 .000      
32 Vance Joseph ¹ DEN 0 3 .000      
33 Mike Tomlin * PIT 0 4 .000   .000
Coach’s total     86 182 .473 4 .476 

(2016 final replay statistics) Totals including the replay official, regular season and postseason: 207/457, .453

¹-First-year head coach, not including interim assignments. *-Playoff team. †-No longer with team. ‡-Interim coach. Ranked by regular-season success rate. Sources: NFL game statistics, Football Zebras research.

Cameron Filipe
Cameron Filipe
Cam Filipe is a freshman at the University of New Haven, majoring in forensic science. He has been involved in football officiating for five years and currently works as a flag football and soccer official in college. This is his second season covering officiating as a staff writer for Football Zebras.

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