How Much Did Jim Schwartz's Attempted Challenge Cost the Lions?

Had Schwartz not thrown the challenge flag on Forsett's run, the play would have been reviewed and certainly overturned. That would mean a 3rd and 2 for HOU on their own 27 with 6:40 or so in the 3rd quarter. Down by 10 points, that means at 0.18 Win Probability (WP) for HOU.

But because Schwartz threw the challenge flag on a play that would have been otherwise reviewed automatically, he received an unsportsmanlike penalty. The result was that the play was not reviewed by rule, and Forsett's TD stood. That gave DET a touchback up by 3, giving HOU a 0.35 WP.

That's a cost of 0.17 WP. It essentially doubled HOU's chances of winning at that point.

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19 Responses to “How Much Did Jim Schwartz's Attempted Challenge Cost the Lions?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Can someone explain why this rule exists?

  2. Drew Groff says:

    Can't wait until we can get rid of these replacement refs.

  3. Brian Burke says:

    ^ +1

  4. Anonymous says:

    Why does this rule exist? Because it is hilarious.

  5. Dave says:

    What about the part where Schwartz was content with a FORTY SEVEN yard field goal in overtime? Just a pitiful coaching performance all the way around.

  6. Jonathan says:

    Would the play have been unreviewable if the Houston coach threw out the challenge flag? Because he could pretend to be challenging something to make the sure the play never gets reviewed.

  7. Ken R. says:

    Excerpt from the NFL rule book on replays: After all scoring plays, interceptions, fumbles and backward passes that are recovered by an opponent or go out of bounds through an opponent's end zone, muffed scrimmage kicks recovered by the kicking team, after the two-minute warning of each half, and throughout any overtime period, any Replay Review will be initiated by a Replay Official from a Replay Booth comparable to the location of the coaches' booth or Press Box. There is no limit to the number of Referee Reviews that may be initiated by the Replay Official. He must initiate a review before the next legal snap or kick and cannot initiate a review of any ruling against a team that commits a foul that delays the next snap.

  8. Ian Simcox says:

    Ooooh, that's a sucky rule. How exactly is it unsportsmanlike conduct? If anything, Forsett is the unsportsmanlike one, carrying on his run even though both his elbow and knee were down. That is a bad, bad rule. It's the kind that can only be thought up by the men in suits, locked away in a boardroom somewhere trying to look busy by coming up with solutions to a problem that doesn't exist.

  9. Ken R. says:

    Forsett can't be blamed... He didn't hear a whistle because there wasn't one. He did what all players are taught to do from Pop Warner on... keep playing til you hear a whistle. The rule is there so a coach doesn't manipulate the process. A good rule, but perhaps they should still review the play and only institute the penalty yards after they get the play right. Bad rule or not, Schwartz admitted he knew the rule and the consequences. It's all on Schwartz.

  10. chrisb says:

    If the spirit of the rule is to avoid teams committing fouls to stall for review, then can't we separate plays into those that will for sure be reviewed (e.g. tds, turnovers) and those that can only be reviewed by replay officials (OT, <2 min); there will of course be overlap here. It is the latter were we might see abuse. If it is just stipulated that all of the former will be reviewed, then there is no reason to commit a foul since it will not affect whether there will be challenge.

  11. Ken R. says:

    One would think they will modify the rule in the offseason.

  12. Martin says:

    I still dont get why the rule were created. Say you get a short catch close to the sideline. a broken tackle, and it goes all the way. If you then throw the red flag, you get a TD instead of a short completion. Granted, you would have to kickoff from the 20, but I dont think there are many coachs who wouldnt make that trade if they were standing at the oppentents 40 or farther out

  13. Martin says:

    I still dont get why the rule were created. Say you get a short catch close to the sideline. a broken tackle, and it goes all the way. If you then throw the red flag, you get a TD instead of a short completion. Granted, you would have to kickoff from the 20, but I dont think there are many coachs who wouldnt make that trade if they were standing at the oppentents 40 or farther out

  14. Anonymous says:

    The rule says: "He ... cannot initiate a review of any ruling against a team that commits a foul that delays the next snap."
    To me that suggests that if the ruling is not against you, but in your favor, the play can still be reviewed even if you commit a foul. It's only if the team that would benefit from a review commits a foul that it becomes un-reviewable.

  15. Ken R. says:

    Here is some background on the rule. It is still not clear to me how it is intended to work. http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/11/24/john-mara-favored-the-red-flag-rule-now-wants-to-see-it-reviewed/

  16. Anonymous says:

    How much WP did Schwartz cost his team by settling for a 47 yard FG on 3rd and 11 rather than trying to gain more yards.

  17. Anonymous says:

    The real irony is that Jim Harbaugh committed the exact same offense in a game against the Lions last year. And Schwartz gave him a hard time about it, saying something along the lines of "Know the rules, Harbaugh!". So as much as I dislike the rule, I think Schwartz kinda deserved it.

  18. Anonymous says:

    It exists to prevent teams with no timeouts to purposely call a challenge to stop the clock by penalizing them. The part about making the play unreviewable is ridiculous, though.

  19. Anonymous says:

    It exists so that a team with no timeouts does not attempt to stop the clock by throwing a challenge flag, thus slowing down the game unnecessarily.

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