My title just refers to ​"coach's challenge" ​so it will be shorter. I intend to also include other non-neutrally-initiated replay review, such as for example ​manager's challenges .

The one instance I am aware of is from the 2017 Nov 12 NFL game Packers vs Bears, in which the original ruling was ​ Bears ball at the 3 yard line, the Bears coach challenged hoping for a ruling of ​ touchdown by the Bears, and the challenge resulted in a ruling of ​turnover, Packers ball.

Are there any other instances of a non-neutrally-initiated replay review backfiring?

1 Answer 1


Jim Schwartz's attempted challenge against the Texans in 2012 probably counts here. What happened:

  • Texans running back Justin Forsett was knocked down, but got up and continued to run. The play was called a touchdown.
  • As this was a scoring play, it was subject to automatic review.
  • Jim Schwartz threw his challenge flag. Because the play was already subject to review, this was an illegal challenge.
  • As the rules stood at the time, an illegal challenge prevented all review of the play, so the automatic review was cancelled.
  • Therefore the touchdown stood, whereas it was highly likely that the automatic review would have called the touchdown back if Schwartz had not thrown his flag.

which was frankly a bit bonkers. For a less extreme example, see Mike McCarthy's attempted challenge against the Vikings in 2012. That was a similar situation, except that McCarthy threw his flag after the official replay had begun, so the replay happened and gave the Packers a touchdown. The Packers still got a a 15 yard penalty on the kickoff though.

In the 2013 offseason, the NFL got rid of the rule that hammered the Lions because everybody agreed it was a bit silly.

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