With the NFL Competition Committee recently considering proposals to alter which rulings on the field can be challenged, or how many can be challenged, it’s worth looking at which teams enjoy the most success when challenging on-field decisions.
While it is important to remember that there is supposed to be clear evidence to overturn a call, it is interesting to note that only two teams had a success rate better than 60 percent challenging calls in 2015. The Miami Dolphins challenged only five calls on the field and were successful in four of their attempts (80 percent). The Cincinnati Bengals were more aggressive challenging calls and were successful in seven of their 11 attempts (63.6 percent).
The only team with more than 13 challenges was the Carolina Panthers, who challenged 18 times during the regular season last year and experienced a 55.5 percent success rate.
The San Diego Chargers challenged calls only three times and were successful only once, according to the NFL data.
The Indianapolis Colts, who challenged six times, were the only team to not win a challenge.
Keep in mind, too, that the replay booth is in charge of reviewing scoring plays and turnovers. Of the 276 challenges issued by the replay booth, 103 – or 37.3 percent – were overturned.
Not surprisingly, completions and incompletions accounted for two of the three biggest bones of contention. That’s usually the case, and last year 46 percent of the 139 challenges to plays that were ruled a completion were overturned. Thirty-six percent of the 80 challenges to plays that were ruled incompletions were overturned.
Sandwiched in between the questions about what is a completion were challenges to fumbles. Of the 81 times that a ruling of a fumble was challenged, 38 percent of those were overturned.
Here are the results of the teams that challenged plays and then the success rate of the different plays that were challenged in 2015.
CHALLENGES BY TEAM
|Club||Challenges||Plays Overturned||Success Rate|
|Green Bay Packers||11||6||54.55%|
|Kansas City Chiefs||6||3||50.00%|
|New England Patriots||6||2||33.33%|
|New Orleans Saints||6||3||50.00%|
|New York Giants||6||3||50.00%|
|New York Jets||5||1||20.00%|
|San Diego Chargers||3||1||33.33%|
|San Francisco 49ers||9||2||22.22%|
|St. Louis Rams||8||4||50.00%|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||9||4||44.44%|
PLAYS THAT WERE CHALLENGED
|Review Type||Challenges||Plays Overturned||Success Rate|
|Runner broke the plane||77||28||36.36%|
|Runner was down by contact||53||25||47.17%|
|Runner was in bounds||22||4||18.18%|
|Loose ball recovery||8||4||50.00%|
|Illegal forward pass||3||1||33.33%|
|Too many players on field||2||2||100.00%|
|Running into the kicker||1||0||0.00%|