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Red Zone Scoring (Photo: Keith Allison)
Close games are the norm in the NFL so making the most of your possessions is key. This is especially true when getting into the red zone.
This season, 47 games have been decided by seven points or fewer, tied for the second-most through the first six weeks of a season in NFL history. So the ability to score points -- especially inside your opponent's 20-yard line -- is what can separate wins and losses.
"It's something we spent a ton of time on this offseason in OTA's, minicamp and training camp," says Arizona Cardinals quarterback CARSON PALMER on the team's red zone execution. "It's something that's a focal point of the offense. Being able to run the ball is key because it makes it a lot more difficult to defend down there."
Six teams have scored at least 110 points in the red zone. Those six teams -- Cincinnati (152 points), Arizona (146), New England (137), Atlanta (120), Green Bay (116) and the New York Jets (110) -- have a combined record of 30-4 (.882).
|Team||Red Zone Points||Record|
|New York Jets||110||4-1|
While coming away with points on any red zone trip is important, teams emphasize the ability to score touchdowns.
"The four-point differential between a touchdown and a field goal is critical in the National Football League," says NFL Network analyst and former NFL fullback MICHAEL ROBINSON. "It's all about inches. The competition is that close."
Six teams have scored a touchdown on more than two-thirds of their red zone possessions -- Pittsburgh (75.0 percent), New England (73.9), the New York Jets (73.7), Atlanta (72.7), Cincinnati (71.4) and Arizona (69.2) -- and have combined for a 28-6 (.824) record.
|Red Zone TDs||TD Pct.||Record|
|New York Jets||19||14||73.7||4-1|
"When we have our opportunities, we have to capitalize in the red zone," says Arizona's LARRY FITZGERALD, whose 62 touchdown catches inside the red zone are the most among active wide receivers. "We have to make sure we don't turn the football over. When we have opportunities to score touchdowns, we want to put seven points on the board instead of three. The margin of error is a lot less down there in the red zone."
The active players with the most receiving touchdowns and rushing touchdowns inside the red zone:
|Player||Receiving TDs||Player||Rushing TDs|
|Antonio Gates||77||Adrian Peterson||65|
|Larry Fitzgerald||62||Marshawn Lynch||62|
|Brandon Marshall||51||Frank Gore||52|
|Marques Colston||47||Arian Foster||48|
|Rob Gronkowski||45||Matt Forté||35|
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