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Coaches’ challenges on same pace as last season

In a season with vast replay changes and many notable reviews, not much has changed statistically, as the success rate of coaches’ challenges is currently mirroring last year’s rate. Coaches are   ½ challenge below 50 percent, which is the same as 2016 (including postseason). Perhaps the biggest change in replay this year is the centralization; giving senior vice president of officiating Alberto Riveron and his team in the New York offices the final word on every play that is reviewed to maintain consistency among all games. Initially, it seemed as if the officiating department was staying with the calls on the field a lot more often, but as the season progressed, there have been a lot more reversals.

As a result, the rate of reversals when the red flag is tossed continues to climb very slightly. This has been the case since 2014, when the referee was first connected to New York to consult with his bosses before making a decision. Now, the roles are flipped: the referee doesn’t have that decision, and he can only provide input. However, this large-scale modification has not shown virtually any change in replay reversals at this halfway point in the season.

The coaches’ average sits just above the replay booth success rate of approximately 47.3%. While four of the five first-year head coaches have been granted a reversal only a third of the time or less, 49ers rookie head coach Kyle Shanahan leads the pack with four correct challenges out of four.

All replay rates by coach (and the replay booth) are shown below. Dirk Koetter (TB) and Mike Mularkey (TEN) have not challenged any calls this season.

   Coach       Reversals Challenges Success %
1 Kyle Shanahan  ¹ SF 4 4 1.000
   John Harbaugh   BAL 2 2 1.000
   Jim Caldwell   DET 2 2 1.000
   Dan Quinn   ATL 1 1 1.000
   Bill Belichick   NE 1 1 1.000
   Jay Gruden   WAS 1 1 1.000
7 Doug Marrone   JAX 2 3 .667
   Mike Zimmer   MIN 2 3 .667
   Pete Carroll   SEA 2 3 .667
10 Marvin Lewis   CIN 3 5 .600
11 Chuck Pagano   IND 3 6 .500
   Mike McCarthy   GB 2 4 .500
   John Fox   CHI 1 2 .500
   Jason Garrett   DAL 1 2 .500
   Andy Reid   KC 1 2 .500
   Adam Gase   MIA 1 2 .500
   Sean Payton   NO 1 2 .500
   Todd Bowles   NYJ 1 2 .500
   Doug Pederson   PHI 1 2 .500
— Replay booth    NFL 53 112 .473
20 Hue Jackson   CLE 2 5 .400
21 Sean McDermott  ¹ BUF 1 3 .333
   Ron Rivera   CAR 1 3 .333
   Anthony Lynn  ¹ LAC 1 3 .333
   Jack Del Rio   OAK 1 3 .333
25 Vance Joseph  ¹ DEN 0 1 .000
   Ben McAdoo   NYG 0 1 .000
27   Bruce Arians   AZ 0 2 .000
   Bill O’Brien   HOU 0 2 .000
   Sean McVay  ¹ LAR 0 2 .000
30 Mike Tomlin   PIT 0 3 .000
— Coach’s total       38 77 .494

(2016 final replay statistics) Totals including the replay official: 91/189, .481
 ¹-First-year head coach, not including interim assignments.   Source: NFL game statistics, regular season only.

Ben Austro contributed to this report.

Photo: Kansas City Chiefs

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Cameron Filipe
Cam Filipe is a graduate student at Boston University and has been involved in football officiating for ten years. Cam is entering his second season as a high school football official. This is his seventh season covering NFL officiating for Football Zebras.

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One thought on “Coaches’ challenges on same pace as last season

  1. You’ve found the one metric by which Rex Ryan coached better than McDermott. I’ll stick with McDermott nonetheless.

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