What percentage of onside kicks have been successful in the 2015 NFL regular season?

In what percentage of onside kicks did the kicking team regain possession of the ball?

  • Historically onside kicks work about 1 out of 10 times when the other team knows it is coming, quite a bit more when they don't.
    – Coach-D
    Jan 25, 2016 at 5:28
  • Worth giving this article from advanced football analytics archive a read. I'm not sure quite where the data is from (and I think from before an onsides kick rule was changed in the NFL), but seems like a good cursory glance at onsides kick successes compared to win probabilities.
    – Jimmy M.
    Feb 19, 2016 at 14:40

1 Answer 1


Out of 66 onside kicks in the 2015 regular season, 9 were successful - good for a 13.64% success rate.


  • Note that surprise onside kicks, such as Alabama's in the college national championship two weeks ago or New Orleans's in the 2010 Super Bowl, are far more successful. But I can't find a breakdown for this season's onside kicks. Jan 25, 2016 at 19:17
  • @MichaelMyers Yeah, in my source listed, some teams were much more successful than others, and my guess is that the difference was a result certain teams using them in an aggressive fashion (particularly if they have high confidence in their defense). Jan 25, 2016 at 19:32
  • Let's also remember that in general, on side kicks are attempted by the team that's down in score, and also that in general better teams have higher scores, so it's more likely an inferior team is kicking off to a superior team. As Commander Data would say, "Not always, but often."
    – corsiKa
    Jan 25, 2016 at 22:02

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