On average, onside kicks that happen in National Football League games only work around 20 percent of the time, as of October 2014. Onside kicks were successful 41 percent of the time in 2013. Historically, onside kicks are successful about a third of the time.
In the 2013 season, Matt Bosher from the Atlanta Falcons posted the most successful onside kicks during the season. He was successful on three of his six attempts.
During most kickoffs, a team tries to kick the ball as far from the goal as possible so that the opposing team has to run it farther back. In an onside kick, the kicking team kicks it a shorter distance, but more than 10 yards from the kicking line, in order to try and secure the ball before the opposing team has the chance to do so.