Mike Tomlin's history of replay challenges 'above the line'


The Pittsburgh Steelers' head coach has never been one to shy away from throwing the red challenge flag during the game. Looking at his history of challenges throughout his career, he certainly has earned the right to use the challenge flag as much as needed.

Mike Tomlin is a good football coach, there's no denying that fact. Just look at his overall body of work. But this doesn't mean he doesn't have certain areas worthy of scrutiny, just like the players he coaches.

Tomlin's time management has been harshly analyzed by media and fans for years, but one aspect that people often deem inept is the replay-challenge department. Even in Thursday's preseason finale against the Carolina Panthers, Tomlin threw a red challenge flag, only to see the call upheld.

The social media "coaches" promptly assailed their coach for wasting a timeout.

But take a look at Tomlin's career history of challenges and you'll see a different story. In his seven years as head coach of the Steelers, he has broken even or better in terms of plays overturned in all but two seasons. Overall, Tomlin has challenged 44 plays during his career with a 24:20 overturn-to-upheld ratio. That equates to an 54-percent challenge success rate.

Upon first seeing this 54 percent, it seemed low for a head coach in the NFL. But compare Tomlin to some of his peers viewed as elite coaches in the league and you'll see that 54 percent is a good number. Here's a look at other NFL coaches, their overturn-to-upheld ratios and their overall success percentages.

Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy - 34:35 ratio - 49 percent
New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin - 49:53 ratio - 48 percent
San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh - 11:18 ratio - 37 percent
Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh - 30:33 ratio - 47 percent
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick - 39:56 ratio - 41 percent
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid - 44:46 ratio - 48 percent

Among his peers listed, Tomlin would be the only head coach with a challenge rate over 50 percent.

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