Brad Childress: Less Terrible at Challenging Plays?

Kevin Seifert posts a feature each week that's always worth checking out: A tally of the amount of plays challenged by each head coach in the NFC North, and the amount of those challenges that have ultimately been overturned. Congratulations, Brad Childress: After seven weeks, you're the pace-setter in the division.

Indeed, Chilly has challenged five plays this season, with two being overturned. Two of those challenges came last week, with Chilly getting that sideline Sidney Rice catch overturned. The other successful challenge came in week one of the season, with a Braylon Edwards touchdown wiped off the scoreboard and the Vikings defense proceeding to hold Cleveland to a field goal on that possession. Here's that Rice play:

Chilly still wasted a challenge last week, which was a disappointment. And indeed, that's something he still needs to improve -- his decisions on challenges tend to come quite quickly, seemingly without much consultation.

Nevertheless, his record this year on challenges is 2-3. Compare that to this article from almost exactly two years ago:

Two questionable replay decisions last Sunday left Vikings coach Brad Childress with a 2-6 record in 2007 challenges. The mark ranks him No. 30 among NFL coaches, according to independent statistics compiled by ESPN.com.

Chilly gets a tough time from fans -- and whether or not that's justified is another can of worms. But he isn't wasting quite as many challenges as he once did. On the list of things Chilly has needed to improve to become a better gameday coach, he doesn't seem to be as inept of a "challenger" as he used to be. Still more room for improvement, though. What say you? Is Childress generally becoming a better gameday coach?

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