A Look Inside The Red Zone

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 8, 2009 – 7:59 am

In penning his latest piece on, Pat Kirwan cites last Monday’s Vikings-Packers game as an example of the importance of red zone scoring efficiency. The Vikings, Kirwan points out, scored 3 TDs in as many trips to the red zone while the Packers were 0-2 in red zone scoring.

Kirwan’s piece is a good read and goes in depth on the importance of red zone scoring, and it also references a bunch of current league-wide red zone statistics and trends. Kirwan also says having a mobile QB, an athletic TE, a tall receiver and a powerful RB are important factors in being able to convert red zone scoring chances.

Yet another interesting part to Kirwan’s piece is the explanation of the “green zone,” which is described as the area between the opponent’s 35-yardline and 20-yardline. Using Bernard Berrian’s 31-yard TD reception against Green Bay as an example, Kirwan explains that teams want to strike from the green zone with vertical passing plays before the offense runs out of space for their speedy receivers in the red zone.

Through 4 games, the Vikings have 13 red zone drives and have scored TDs on 8 of those drives while converting FGs on 3 more drives, giving the Purple an 84.6% scoring rate inside the opponent’s 20-yardline, ranked tied for 7th best in the NFL. Of the Vikings 8 red zone TDs, 5 of come through the air and 3 on the ground.

The Vikings red zone scoring efficiency is up nearly 3% this year compared to last year, a statistic that becomes even more important considering the league-wide trend is that red zone scoring efficiency is going down. While it’s probably speculative to point out why the Vikings red zone scoring efficiency is one the rise, Kirwan cites an NFL defensive coordinator as saying red zone blitzes have increased in 2009. As a result, the defensive coordinator said, QBs are throwing more incompletions in the red zone and are also being sacked and pushed out of the red zone, which is why the league-wide trend is for red zone scoring efficiency to decline.

Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 1 Comment »

One Response to “A Look Inside The Red Zone”

  1. By purplehorn on Oct 8, 2009 | Reply

    Remember when Tice was on his way out and Chlli was the new coach how bad the red zone drives were? The tool box is full now with a veteran QB at the helm. It takes time and Rosenfels and TJ can benefit from this time if they pay attention.

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