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Doug Orth | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer


Red Zone Report
Preseason Matchup Analysis
7/2/13

A d v e r t i s e m e n t

Touchdowns are the lifeblood of fantasy football. In most cases, they are highly volatile despite the fact that most teams endlessly scheme to make sure 2-3 players are the primary options in the red zone. There are many reasons for this, but it doesn’t change the fact that during a given NFL game, the unplanned happens with regularity. For example, a fullback may vulture the short score that was originally earmarked for the team’s goal-line specialist or a team’s fourth receiver gets a bit lucky on a tipped pass meant for another receiver and comes down with the ball in the end zone.

For the most part, one of the jobs of a successful fantasy football owner is to be able to discern what exactly can be considered lucky and what is repeatable. In other words, it is beneficial to place your chips on the event that is most likely to happen while also reducing the number of resources (i.e. players in your fantasy lineup) that essentially need to count on a breakdown or mistake from the defense to get their points. So how exactly do we measure this?

One of the older fantasy football adages is that more opportunities tend to lead to more success. Over the next two weeks, I will attempt to arm each of you with this information. This week, my goal is simply to break down what each of the 32 teams did in the red zone last season – individually as well as a team – in an effort to give you some idea as to how that offense attacked defenses. What players were their team’s “bellcow” inside the 20? How often did Michael Turner or Arian Foster score when he was given a red-zone carry? How many times did Larry Fitzgerald or Marques Colston get targeted in scoring territory? Which teams were balanced and which ones were unbalanced with their red-zone play-calling?

Information is typically what you make of it. As I spend the next month-plus hammering out my game-by-game projections, I will refer to this kind of information on a regular basis. While I focus mostly on what players may/should exploit their individual matchups in my projections, there is also something to be said about how stubborn a team is about running the ball in the red zone and fixated on 1-2 primary receivers at the goal line. Sustained success in fantasy football is all in the details and it has been my focus for years that no owner will consider more factors in their analysis that I will.

Obviously, I just touched on a few of the applications for the data I’m about to present as I attempted to give both player and team equal time in my analysis. This year, I left the 2011 totals for each team on their chart so as to compare two years’ worth of red-zone data. I believe as the years pass, this information will be useful for the teams that retain their head coaches and/or offensive coordinators season after season. While I left some brief thoughts for each team, don’t hesitate to take a few minutes to review each category I have provided and try to understand why that team opted to do what it did and the possible resulting carryover for 2013.

With that out of the way, allow me to explain what each of the headers mean before we get started with my overview on each team’s red-zone attack philosophy last season:

Att – Pass Attempts
Cmp – Completions
PaTD – Pass TD
PaTD % - The rate at which a red-zone pass attempt resulted in a red-zone touchdown pass
RuAtt – Rush Attempt
RuAtt % - The percentage of red-zone carries a player had for his team (For example, Beanie Wells secured 32 of Arizona’s 52 red-zone carries, meaning he had 61.5% of his team’s red-zone rushing attempts.)
RuTD – Rush TD
RuTD % - The rate at which a red-zone rush attempt resulted in a red-zone touchdown run
Tar – Red-zone targets
Tar % - The percentage of red-zone targets a player had for his team (For example, Larry Fitzgerald secured 17 of Arizona’s 51 red-zone passing attempts, meaning he had 33.3% of his team’s red-zone targets.)
Rec – Red-zone receptions
ReTD – Receiving TD
ReTD% - The rate at which a red-zone reception resulted in a red-zone touchdown reception
RZ Pass % - The percentage that an offense attempted a pass in the red zone
Pass % - The percentage that an offense attempted a pass, regardless of field position
RZ Run % - The percentage that an offense attempted a run in the red zone
Run % - The percentage that an offense attempted a run, regardless of field position

Last but not least, thanks to FF Today’s very own Kyle Smith, whose Offensive Focus article in early June provided me with the overall pass-run percentages.

Note: the very detailed-oriented readers will notice that the targets do not always equal the number of pass attempts in the “totals” row. This discrepancy comes as a result of occurrences such as clock-killing “spikes” in the red zone that do not have an intended receiver.

ARI | ATL | BAL | BUF | CAR | CHI | CIN | CLE | DAL | DEN | DET | GB | HOU | IND | JAX | KC
MIA | MIN | NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | OAK | PHI | PIT | SD | SEA | SF | STL | TB | TEN | WAS

 Arizona Cardinals
Pos Player Att Comp PaTD PaTD % RuAtt RuAtt % RuTD RuTD % Tar Tar % Rec ReTD ReTD % RZ Pass % Pass % RZ Run % Run %
QB Kevin Kolb  24 13 6 25 1 2.2 1 100
QB John Skelton  20 8 1 5 1 2.2 0 0
QB Brian Hoyer  3 1 0 0
QB Ryan Lindley  10 3 0 0
RB Beanie Wells  13 28.3 4 30.8
RB Stephens-Howling  21 45.7 4 19 3 5.3 2 0 0
RB Ryan Williams  6 13 0 0 2 3.5 1 0 0
RB Anthony Sherman  2 3.5 2 0 0
RB William Powell  3 6.5 0 0 2 3.5 1 0 0
WR Andre Roberts  8 14 4 4 100
WR Larry Fitzgerald  20 35.1 8 2 25
WR Michael Floyd  5 8.8 1 1 100
WR Early Doucet  8 14 2 0 0
TE Todd Heap  3 5.3 2 0 0
TE Rob Housler  3 5.3 2 0 0
TE Jeff King  1 1.8 0 0 0
2012 Totals 57 25 7 12.28% 45 97.9 9 20.00% 57 100.1 25 7 24.98% 55.88 63.34 44.12 36.66
2011 Totals 51 27 11 21.57% 52 99.9 12 23.08% 49 96.1 27 11 40.74% 49.51 60.83 50.49 39.17

The sheer number of players listed above should give everyone a pretty good idea of the chaos in Arizona last season. Once we get past the fact that no other team had three quarterbacks attempt double-digit passes inside the 20 or six running backs see some sort of action in the red zone, the first number that jumps out is Stephens-Howlings’ 21 red-zone carries – only 11 fewer than Wells in 2011. What comes as no surprise are Fitzgerald’s 20 red-zone targets – one fewer than Roberts, Doucet and Floyd combined. In regards to 2013, it would be a bit shocking if Arizona doesn’t manage more than 102 plays inside the 20 and see a bit of an improvement over its 15.69% overall success rate [(RuTD+PaTD)/(RuAtt+PaAtt)] in that area. HC Bruce Arians’ vertical-based offense will push the ball up the field and, with the highly athletic trio of Fitzgerald, Floyd and Housler all capable of using their size and speed advantage, Carson Palmer will have more margin for error than he has in recent years.

 Atlanta Falcons
Pos Player Att Comp PaTD PaTD % RuAtt RuAtt % RuTD RuTD % Tar Tar % Rec ReTD ReTD % RZ Pass % Pass % RZ Run % Run %
QB Matt Ryan 82 54 24 29.3 3 3.8 1 33.3
QB Luke McCown  2 2.6 0 0
RB Michael Turner  50 64.1 9 18 2 2.4 2 0 0
RB Jacquizz Rodgers  17 21.8 1 5.9 6 7.3 6 1 16.7
RB Lousaka Polite  0 0 0 1 1.2 0 0 0
RB Jason Snelling  5 6.4 0 0 7 8.5 5 1 20
WR Julio Jones  20 24.4 11 7 63.6
WR Roddy White  17 20.7 8 4 50
WR Drew Davis  1 1.2 1 1 100
WR Harry Douglas  1 1.3 0 0 6 7.3 5 0 0
WR Kevin Cone  1 1.2 0 0 0
TE Tony Gonzalez  16 19.5 12 8 66.7
TE Michael Palmer  3 3.7 3 1 33.3
2012 Totals 82 54 24 29.27% 78 100 11 14.10% 80 97.4 53 23 54.41% 51.25 61.93 48.75 38.07
2011 Totals 79 38 18 22.78% 83 100 12 14.46% 77 97.6 38 18 47.37% 48.77 57.78 51.23 42.22

OC Dirk Koetter enjoyed great success in his first year with Atlanta with his pass-heavy attack, but just like they were under former OC Mike Mularkey, the Falcons remained very balanced in the red zone. In 2011, the pass-run ratio was 79:83. In 2012, it was 82:78. Ryan took a big step forward inside the 20 last season, completing 66% of his passes, throwing for six more scores and increasing his PaTD % from 22.8 to 29.3. Turner saw only a minimal drop in his red-zone work but was actually a bit more efficient in that area (18%) than he was in 2011 (15.3%). But the most obvious difference came in the passing game. Gonzalez saw the same number of red-zone targets as he did in 2011, but the 12 that White lost all went to Jones – meaning the duo combined for the exact same number of targets in 2011 as they did in 2012. HC Mike Smith’s teams are almost always among the most disciplined and offensively-balanced squads each season, so the addition of Steven Jackson only figures to improve the team’s rather pathetic 14.1 RuTD % while also increasing the efficiency of one of the league’s most efficient red-zone passing games from a season ago.

 Baltimore Ravens
Pos Player Att Comp PaTD PaTD % RuAtt RuAtt % RuTD RuTD % Tar Tar % Rec ReTD ReTD % RZ Pass % Pass % RZ Run % Run %
QB Joe Flacco 50 22 11 22 11 17.7 3 27.3
QB Tyrod Taylor  2 3.2 1 50
RB Ray Rice  36 58.1 8 22.2 11 22 4 0 0
RB Bernard Pierce  9 14.5 1 11.1
RB Anthony Allen  2 3.2 1 50
RB Vonta Leach  1 1.6 1 100 3 6 1 0 0
WR Torrey Smith  10 20 7 5 71.4
WR Anquan Boldin  8 16 2 1 50
WR Tandon Doss  2 4 1 1 100
WR Jacoby Jones  4 8 1 0 0
TE Dennis Pitta  10 20 6 4 66.7
TE Ed Dickson  1 2 0 0 0
2012 Totals 50 22 11 22.00% 61 98.3 15 24.59% 49 98 22 11 22.45% 45.05 55.78  54.95 44.22 
2011 Totals 55 23 12 21.82% 67 99.9 13 19.40% 54 98.1 23 12 52.17% 45.08 55.69 54.92 44.31

Because OC Jim Caldwell didn’t take over for Cam Cameron until after the midpoint of the season, there isn’t a pronounced difference from the red-zone pass-run ratio in 2011 (55:67). That will almost certainly change in 2013, along with just about everything else in Baltimore. Flacco’s passing numbers inside the 20 from last year were nearly identical to his 2011 numbers, something that really can’t be expected to improve now with Boldin in San Francisco. Rice saw a significant drop (from 47 to 36) in red-zone carries, but his increase in receptions (from five to 11) helped keep his red-zone touches at a very respectable number (47). Rice actually led the team in red-zone targets while Smith and Pitta shared second place honors, one season after Boldin and Dickson were Flacco’s top options inside the 20. Next season promises to be different than the past two seasons, however, with Caldwell likely running the ball more often regardless of field position. Rice will almost certainly see his touches drop due to emergence of Pierce while Pitta could see 15-16 red-zone targets – a total that would place around the top five at his position in most years. Dickson, though, is the wild-card. With Boldin no longer commanding 10-12 red-zone targets, Dickson could make for an inviting target and snag the leftover passes that don’t go in Pitta’s direction.

 Buffalo Bills
Pos Player Att Comp PaTD PaTD % RuAtt RuAtt % RuTD RuTD % Tar Tar % Rec ReTD ReTD % RZ Pass % Pass % RZ Run % Run %
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick 53 30 14 26.4 9 19.6 1 11.1
RB C.J. Spiller  17 37 4 23.5 1 1.9 1 0 0
RB Fred Jackson  11 23.9 3 27.3 5 9.4 4 1 25
RB Tashard Choice  6 13 1 16.7
WR Donald Jones  11 20.8 7 3 42.9
WR Steve Johnson  15 28.3 6 2 33.3
WR Brad Smith  2 4.3 1 50 4 7.5 2 1 50
WR T.J. Graham  3 5.7 2 1 50
WR Ruvell Martin  2 3.8 2 0 0
TE Scott Chandler  8 15.1 4 4 100
TE Dorin Dickerson  1 2.2 0 0 1 1.9 0 0 0
TE Lee Smith  2 3.8 2 2 100
2012 Totals 53 30 14 26.42% 46 100 10 21.74% 52 98.2 30 14 30.55% 53.54 53.62 46.46 46.38
2011 Totals 79 42 20 25.32% 57 100 8 14.04% 76 96.3 42 20 47.62% 58.09 60.58 41.91 39.42

Ex-HC Chan Gailey received a lot of criticism – rightfully so, for the most part – for his unwillingness to turn the offense over to Spiller when it became apparent he was the team’s top playmaker. Be that as it may, Gailey was able to coax pretty solid production from his passing game considering the fact that Fitzpatrick was his quarterback and Jones was the second-most targeted option on the team. The team’s red-zone success rate was actually on par with Denver for one of the best conversion percentages in the league. Gailey’s problem? The Bills only ran 99 plays inside the 20 last season – one of the lowest marks in the NFL. New HC Doug Marrone is promising an up-tempo attack and has stated that he believes in rolling with his top back. This should be a fairly run-heavy team that leans even more on the ground game the closer it gets to scoring territory in 2013, meaning Spiller has a legit chance to double his 17 red-zone carries while Jackson could also see a slight increase of his 11 attempts if he can just last 16 games. It also sounds as if Marrone has big plans for Johnson in the slot, meaning he should easily match – if not surpass – his 15 targets inside the 20 in 2013.

 Carolina Panthers
Pos Player Att Comp PaTD PaTD % RuAtt RuAtt % RuTD RuTD % Tar Tar % Rec ReTD ReTD % RZ Pass % Pass % RZ Run % Run %
QB Cam Newton 57 20 8 14 30 40 7 23.3
RB DeAngelo Williams  22 29.3 3 13.6 1 1.8 1 0 0
RB Jonathan Stewart  9 12 1 11.1 2 3.5 1 1 100
RB Mike Tolbert  14 18.7 7 50 2 3.5 0 0 0
WR Steve Smith  14 24.6 4 2 50
WR Louis Murphy  13 22.8 4 1 25
WR Brandon LaFell  9 15.8 3 1 33.3
WR Kealoha Pilares  2 3.5 1 0 0
TE Greg Olsen  12 21.1 6 3 50
TE Ben Hartsock  1 1.8 0 0 0
TE Richie Brockel  1 1.8 0 0 0
2012 Totals 57 20 8 14.04% 75 100 18 24.00% 57 100.2 20 8 19.96% 43.18 51.47 56.82 48.53
2011 Totals 59 26 13 22.03% 69 99.9 19 27.54% 57 96.6 26 13 50.00% 46.46 57.98 53.54 42.02

Newton took a big step backwards in terms of his red-zone efficiency in 2012, completing only 35% (20-for-57) of those passes. On the ground, he had nine fewer rushes and scored six fewer touchdowns. Much of the blame for that probably falls on former OC Rod Chudzinski, who went about halfway into the season with a shotgun-heavy, zone read-based offense before returning to a more traditional offensive approach late in the season. It is also easy to criticize the deployment of the running backs since Williams had one less carry inside the 20 than Stewart and Tolbert did combined. Finally, Murphy’s 13 red-zone targets – one more than Olsen and one less than Smith – was another stunning number since LaFell is the starter and Murphy is known more as a downfield receiver. Since Carolina believes it will go up-tempo this season, it is fair to assume Newton’s pass and rush attempts – red zone or otherwise – will go up, but his 39.7% completion rate inside the 20 will have to increase significantly if he is going to fulfill his massive fantasy potential. The feature-back role is there for the taking for Stewart, but he’s not even a sure thing for training camp following offseason surgery on both ankles. Olsen would seem to be a good candidate to see more red-zone scores, but he hasn’t shown a great knack for the end zone during his two-year stay with Carolina. Therefore, look for the Panthers to lean more heavily on the run this year.

 Chicago Bears
Pos Player Att Comp PaTD PaTD % RuAtt RuAtt % RuTD RuTD % Tar Tar % Rec ReTD ReTD % RZ Pass % Pass % RZ Run % Run %
QB Jay Cutler 47 25 11 23.4 2 3.3 0 0
QB Jason Campbell  5 2 2 40
RB Matt Forte  26 43.3 5 19.2 7 13.5 5 1 20
RB Michael Bush  20 33.3 5 25 2 3.8 1 0 0
RB Armando Allen  7 11.7 0 0
RB Evan Rodriguez  1 1.9 0 0 0
RB Kahlil Bell  4 6.7 0 0
WR Brandon Marshall  23 44.2 13 8 61.5
WR Earl Bennett  6 11.5 3 1 33.3
WR Alshon Jeffery  4 7.7 1 1 100
WR Eric Weems  1 1.9 0 0 0
WR Devin Hester  1 1.7 0 0 1 1.9 0 0 0
TE Kellen Davis  3 5.8 2 1 50
TE Matt Spaeth  2 3.8 1 1 100
TE Kyle Adams  1 1.9 0 0 0
2012 Totals 52 27 13 25.00% 60 100 10 16.67% 51 97.9 26 13 26.56% 46.43 50.79 53.57 49.21
2011 Totals 44 21 10 22.73% 52 99.9 9 17.31% 41 93.3 20 10 50.00% 45.83 53.37 54.17 46.63

The numbers that stand out the most are Marshall’s 23 red-zone targets and his 44.2% target rate inside the 20 – the latter of which was easily the highest mark in the NFL. (In fact, Marshall more than tripled Forte, who finished second on the team with seven.) It’s safe to say that new HC Marc Trestman probably will not allow that kind of imbalance in one of his offenses. Jeffery will see more than four red-zone targets while Martellus Bennett could easily double the six combined targets of the tight end trio (Davis, Spaeth and Adams). But the biggest change figures to come in Forte’s role since Trestman sounds as if he wants to use him in a Marshall Faulk-like manner for as long as possible. Bush will likely remain a factor and probably continue to vulture some short-yardage touchdowns from Forte, but expect Forte to get the majority of work out of the Bears’ backfield until they get inside 5-yard-line. With two big receivers and Bennett, Cutler’s red-zone production and efficiency should skyrocket. He could easily enjoy a career year.

 Cincinnati Bengals
Pos Player Att Comp PaTD PaTD % RuAtt RuAtt % RuTD RuTD % Tar Tar % Rec ReTD ReTD % RZ Pass % Pass % RZ Run % Run %
QB Andy Dalton 70 38 20 28.6 10 14.1 4 40
QB Bruce Gradkowski  2 0 0 0
RB B Green-Ellis  43 60.6 6 14 3 4.2 1 0 0
RB Cedric Peerman  6 8.5 1 16.7
RB Brian Leonard  4 5.6 0 0 2 2.8 1 0 0
RB Bernard Scott  3 4.2 0 0
RB Dan Herron  1 1.4 0 0 1 1.4 0 0 0
RB Chris Pressley  1 1.4 1 1 100
WR A.J. Green  1 1.4 0 0 22 30.6 11 8 72.7
WR Mohamed Sanu  7 9.7 4 4 100
WR Andrew Hawkins  1 1.4 0 0 12 16.7 8 2 25
WR Armon Binns 5 10.2 1 0 0
WR Marvin Jones  4 5.6 2 1 50
WR Brandon Tate  1 1.4 0 0
TE Jermaine Gresham  13 18.1 9 4 44.4
2012 Totals 72 38 20 27.78% 70 98.6 11 15.71% 70 100.7 38 20 37.74% 50.7 55.67 49.3 44.33
2011 Totals 65 34 15 23.08% 70 100 8 11.43% 62 95.3 34 15 44.12% 48.15 55.17 51.85 44.83

The Bengals were one of a few teams to run it more often inside the 20 than they threw it in 2011 and ended up as one of the most-balanced teams inside the 20 again in 2012. Dalton’s efficiency improved slightly last year, but almost all the credit goes to Green. The second-year wideout saw his red-zone TD total go from three as a rookie to eight in 2012, essentially increasing Dalton’s passing TDs inside the red zone from 15 to 20 by himself. It was also rather stunning to see the smallish Hawkins with one less target inside the 20 than Gresham and Sanu, although Sanu’s red-zone production in just 116 pass play snaps (per Pro Football Focus) – most of which came in the only three weeks he played more than half the game – is particularly impressive. Green-Ellis’ conversion rate (14%) simply reinforces the fact he isn’t a particularly good back, although his job as the team’s short-yardage/goal-line back is probably secure until his contract runs out at the end of the 2014 season. Assuming Sanu can stay healthy this season, look for him to be the clear No. 2 option inside the 20 for Dalton as Cincinnati probably won’t give Hawkins 12 red-zone looks again. Rookie Tyler Eifert should also put a significant dent into Gresham’s targets inside the 20.

 Cleveland Browns
Pos Player Att Comp PaTD PaTD % RuAtt RuAtt % RuTD RuTD % Tar Tar % Rec ReTD ReTD % RZ Pass % Pass % RZ Run % Run %
QB Brandon Weeden  46 19 5 10.9 1 2 0 0
QB Colt McCoy  1 1 1 100
QB Thad Lewis  1 1 1 100
RB Trent Richardson  38 76 9 23.7 6 12.5 0 0 0
RB M Hardesty  8 16 1 12.5
RB Chris Ogbonnaya  1 2 0 0
WR Greg Little  1 2 0 0 7 14.6 3 3 100
WR Travis Benjamin  2 4.2 2 0 0
WR Josh Gordon  8 16.7 2 0 0
WR Josh Cribbs  1 2 0 0 2 4.2 1 0 0
WR Josh Cooper  2 4.2 0 0 0
WR M Massaquoi  2 4.2 1 0 0
TE Benjamin Watson  9 18.8 6 3 50
TE Jordan Cameron  6 12.5 2 1 50
TE Alex Smith  3 6.3 3 0 0
TE Brad Smelley  1 2.1 1 0 0
2012 Totals 48 21 7 14.58% 50 100 10 20.00% 48 100.3 21 7 20.94% 48.98 58.84 51.02 41.16
2011 Totals 47 25 10 21.28% 52 99.9 3 5.77% 45 95.8 24 10 41.67% 47.47 59.47 52.53 40.53

The Browns had 99 red-zone plays in 2011 and 98 in 2012, but the case could be made that were much more successful. The biggest difference was the success of the running game and Richardson in particular, who tripled Cleveland’s touchdowns in that area from the previous year (three) by himself. Weeden was half as effective (10.9%) as McCoy was in 2011 (22.5), but that is hardly surprising since the rookie quarterback has a big arm and was confined by the inflexibility of ex-HC Pat Shurmur’s West Coast offense. For the second straight year, no receiver in Cleveland managed to attract double-digit targets or scored more than three red-zone touchdowns. The good news is that players like Weeden, Gordon and Cameron will all be in a position to succeed for the first time in their careers under new OC Norv Turner, who will put Weeden’s arm strength as well as Gordon and Cameron’s deep speed to good use. While it is notable that Cleveland has actually paid a lot of attention to the tight end (relatively speaking) inside the 20 the past two years (19 combined targets in both seasons), Cameron figures to see the majority of those this time around. It was not be shocking at all to see Cameron receive roughly 15-16 targets and 6-7 scores.

 Dallas Cowboys
Pos Player Att Comp PaTD PaTD % RuAtt RuAtt % RuTD RuTD % Tar Tar % Rec ReTD ReTD % RZ Pass % Pass % RZ Run % Run %
QB Tony Romo 73 34 14 19.2 4 10 1 25 1 1.3 1 0 0
QB Kyle Orton  2 2 1 50
RB Felix Jones  9 22.5 2 22.2 3 4 2 2 100
RB DeMarco Murray  17 42.5 4 23.5 3 4 3 0 0
RB Lance Dunbar  2 5 0 0 3 4 1 0 0
RB Phillip Tanner  8 20 0 0
RB Lawrence Vickers  1 1.3 0 0 0
WR Dez Bryant  14 18.7 9 4 44.4
WR Miles Austin  13 17.3 5 2 40
WR Kevin Ogletree  7 9.3 3 2 66.7
WR Dwayne Harris  5 6.7 2 1 50
WR Cole Beasley  5 6.7 1 0 0
WR Andre Holmes  1 1.3 1 0 0
TE Jason Witten  14 18.7 7 3 42.9
TE John Phillips  1 1.3 1 1 100
TE James Hanna  2 2.7 0 0 0
2012 Totals 75 36 15 20.00% 40 100 7 17.50% 73 97.3 36 15 37.00% 65.22 64.96 34.78 35.04
2011 Totals 74 43 20 27.03% 60 99.9 4 6.67% 70 94.8 40 20 50.00% 55.22 59.88 44.78 40.12

While Jerry Jones’ move to assign Bill Callahan the play-calling duties for the 2013 season can and will be questioned for some time, one justification is the team’s incredible 75:40 pass-run ratio inside the 20. The resulting average of 1.88 passes for every run was the third-highest mark in the league behind New Orleans and (you guessed it) Jacksonville. Although Murray’s six missed games had something to do with that total as did the emergence of Bryant, it speaks to the number of times Dallas was in comeback mode and how bad its offensive line was. The lopsided ratio also helped drive Romo’s efficiency down eight percent. Witten’s second straight poor conversion rate (he was 3-for-15 in 2011 and 3-for-14 in 2012) still boggles the mind for a player with such great hands that specializes in the short passing game. In 2013, look for many of the targets that went to Olgetree, Harris and Beasley to become rushes for Murray and rookie Joseph Randle (assuming he wins the backup job). Bryant could easily lead the league in targets with 20-25.

 Denver Broncos
Pos Player Att Comp PaTD PaTD % RuAtt RuAtt % RuTD RuTD % Tar Tar % Rec ReTD ReTD % RZ Pass % Pass % RZ Run % Run %
QB Peyton Manning 82 47 27 32.9 5 6.6 0 0
QB Brock Osweiler  1 1.3 0 0
RB Willis McGahee  26 34.2 4 15.4 4 4.9 3 0 0
RB Knowshon Moreno  21 27.6 4 19 4 4.9 3 0 0
RB Lance Ball  9 11.8 1 11.1 2 2.4 2 1 50
RB Jacob Hester  4 5.3 2 50 1 1.2 1 0 0
RB Ronnie Hillman  10 13.2 1 10 1 1.2 1 0 0
WR Eric Decker  24 29.3 16 11 68.8
WR Demaryius Thomas  21 25.6 9 6 66.7
WR Brandon Stokley  5 6.1 3 2 66.7
WR Matt Willis  1 1.2 0 0 0
TE Joel Dreessen  11 13.4 6 4 66.7
TE Jacob Tamme  5 6.1 2 2 100
TE Virgil Green  1 1.2 0 0 0
2012 Totals 82 47 27 32.93% 76 100 12 15.79% 80 97.5 46 26 47.18% 51.9 55.01 48.1 44.99
2011 Totals 45 23 11 24.44% 40 100 6 15.00% 45 100 23 11 47.83% 52.94 53.69 47.06 46.31

As expected, Manning’s arrival had a dramatic effect on this offense. After running only 85 total red-zone plays in 2011, Manning nearly matched that total in the passing game by himself in his first year as a Bronco. The running game obviously benefited as well with 36 more opportunities inside the 20, although their level of success in the red zone over the Tim Tebow-led offense was marginal (0.79 increase) – this is one area in which rookie Montee Ball should help as an accomplished inside runner with a nose for the end zone. An interesting comparison to make is between Decker and Thomas. For all of Thomas’ physical gifts, he only caught 9 of the 21 red-zone passes thrown his way (42.9%) while Decker was 16-of-24 (66.7). Decker may have struggled a bit more with drops over the course of the season than Thomas did, but Decker will probably enjoy the path of least resistance in the red zone (read: avoid the defensive attention paid to Thomas) for as long as he is playing alongside the Georgia Tech product. Look for Decker to continue being a red-zone hog while Wes Welker enjoys about 15 opportunities inside the 20 – stealing most of the 10 combined targets that Stokley and Tamme had last season.

 Detroit Lions
Pos Player Att Comp PaTD PaTD % RuAtt RuAtt % RuTD RuTD % Tar Tar % Rec ReTD ReTD % RZ Pass % Pass % RZ Run % Run %
QB Matthew Stafford 83 39 15 18.1 9 15.8 4 44.4
QB Shaun Hill  5 3 1 20 1 1.8 0 0
RB Mikel Leshoure  28 49.1 9 32.1 4 4.5 3 0 0
RB Joique Bell  13 22.8 2 15.4 9 10.2 5 0 0
RB Kevin Smith  4 7 1 25 2 2.3 1 1 100
RB Stefan Logan  3 3.4 3 0 0
WR Calvin Johnson  17 19.3 6 2 33.3
WR Nate Burleson  1 1.8 0 0 7 8 5 2 40
WR Ryan Broyles  5 5.7 3 2 66.7
WR Titus Young  7 8 3 2 66.7
WR Mike Thomas 4 4.5 1 1 100
WR Brian Robiskie  1 1.1 1 1 100
WR Kris Durham  2 2.3 0 0 0
TE Brandon Pettigrew  11 12.5 5 3 60
TE Will Heller  3 3.4 2 1 50
TE Tony Scheffler  11 12.5 4 1 25
2012 Totals 88 42 16 18.18% 56 98.3 16 28.57% 86 97.7 42 16 42.99% 61.11 65.43 38.89 34.57
2011 Totals 100 50 29 29.00% 50 100 8 16.00% 98 98 50 29 58.00% 66.67 66.35 33.33 33.65

Detroit had eight more plays in the red zone and has enjoyed eerily similar success rates inside the 20 over the past two seasons (24.68% in 2012; 24.66 in 2011). The biggest change was that nine of Johnson’s 24 red-zone targets resulted in touchdowns in 2011 while only two of his 17 targets ended the same way in 2012. With Reggie Bush around to fill the Jahvid Best role in this offense and (hopefully) better luck in the injury department at receiver, it would be surprising if Stafford’s success rate didn’t move more towards to the 29% it was in 2011 as opposed to the 18.1% he finished at in 2012. For what it is worth, Leshoure was easily the most successful red-zone rusher of all backs who had at least 20 such carries, but he made up for it by averaging 3.7 YPC overall despite facing a stacked box less than any other running back in the league (6.05%, per Pro Football Focus), verifying that his best role is likely in short-yardage. Given all the injuries at receiver, it is difficult to draw any concrete conclusions. One notable stat: Burleson averaged more than one red-zone target per game in 2012, slightly ahead of the pace Johnson set in 2012 and ahead of his own pace in 2011. Despite the turnover at receiver, the tight end group saw 12 fewer targets in 2012 than in 2011. This year, fantasy owners should expect Detroit to operate closer to the 2:1 pass-run ratio it was at in 2011, with Bush seeing a fair amount of passes on swing and arrow routes and Johnson experiencing success at a rate closer to the level he experienced two years ago.

 Green Bay Packers
Pos Player Att Comp PaTD PaTD % RuAtt RuAtt % RuTD RuTD % Tar Tar % Rec ReTD ReTD % RZ Pass % Pass % RZ Run % Run %
QB Aaron Rodgers 66 41 24 36.4 9 22.5 1 11.1
QB Graham Harrell  1 2.5 0 0
RB Ryan Grant  5 12.5 2 40
RB DuJuan Harris  7 17.5 2 28.6
RB Cedric Benson  3 7.5 1 33.3 1 1.5 1 0 0
RB Alex Green  12 30 0 0 6 9.1 4 0 0
RB John Kuhn  2 5 1 50 1 1.5 1 0 0
RB James Starks  2 5 0 0
WR James Jones  19 28.8 14 11 78.6
WR Jordy Nelson  11 16.7 6 4 66.7
WR Greg Jennings  9 13.6 6 4 66.7
WR Randall Cobb  7 10.6 6 3 50
WR Donald Driver  3 4.5 1 1 100
TE Jermichael Finley  8 12.1 2 1 50
2012 Totals 66 41 24 36.36% 41 102.5 7 17.07% 65 98.4 41 24 41.67% 61.68 56.31 38.32 43.69
2011 Totals 90 57 31 34.44% 59 98.4 10 16.95% 87 96.5 57 31 54.39% 60.4 60.02 39.6 39.98

Green Bay was slightly more efficient in the red zone than it was in 2011, but scored 10 fewer times when it was there. Perhaps the most stunning statistic was the Packers scored 49 offensive touchdowns in 2012, but only ran 107 red-zone plays – three more than Jacksonville and seven more than St. Louis. Obviously, that speaks to Green Bay’s big-play ability, but it is still an impressive efficiency rate outside the 20 nonetheless. Green Bay used a 90:59 pass-run ratio in the red zone in 2011, which should be roughly the same kind of ratio fantasy owners should expect in 2013 following the additions of Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin. In 2011, four players – including Rodgers – had more than 10 red-zone carries, but only Lacy and Kuhn should expect to hit that mark this season if the Packers’ running backs can stay healthy. Given the trust Rodgers has in them and loss of Jennings, Jones should be able to maintain his high-target tally while Nelson revisits his 2012 totals (15 red-zone targets, seven red-zone scores). A possible wild-card for more red-zone production is the fourth receiver spot since Cobb will see most of his work in between the 20s. Rodgers has stated publicly he believes Jarrett Boykin is ready for that role, but he’ll need to hold off a challenge from talented rookie Charles Johnson – and that is assuming that a refocused Finley doesn’t become the red-zone beast he was only a few years ago.

 Houston Texans
Pos Player Att Comp PaTD PaTD % RuAtt RuAtt % RuTD RuTD % Tar Tar % Rec ReTD ReTD % RZ Pass % Pass % RZ Run % Run %
QB Matt Schaub 49 28 14 28.6 2 2.2 0 0
QB T.J. Yates  1 0 0 0 1 1.1 1 100
RB Arian Foster  74 80.4 15 20.3 9 18 6 2 33.3
RB Ben Tate  10 10.9 2 20
RB Justin Forsett  5 5.4 0 0 1 2 1 0 0
WR Andre Johnson  8 16 4 2 50
WR Keshawn Martin  5 10 3 1 33.3
WR Kevin Walter  3 6 2 0 0
WR DeVier Posey  1 2 0 0
TE Owen Daniels  12 24 3 3 100
TE Garrett Graham  5 10 5 3 60
TE James Casey  5 10 4 3 75
2012 Totals 50 28 14 28.00% 92 100 18 19.57% 49 98 28 14 28.57% 35.21 52.17 64.79 47.83
2011 Totals 69 31 11 15.94% 101 97 16 15.84% 61 88.2 31 11 35.48% 40.59 47.8 59.41 52.2

If Houston reminded fans of their fathers’ Texans (and I don’t mean the 2002 expansion team), it might be because their pass-run ratio was nearly 1:2, which is almost unheard of nowadays (remarkably, two teams were more run-heavy inside the 20 – the Jets and the Redskins). Foster’s 74 red-zone rush attempts were more than 21 teams and equal to another one. (It may also help explain Foster’s career-low 4.1 YPC since he had 20 more rushes attempts inside the 20 than he did in 2011 and eight more than his breakout 2010 campaign.) Furthermore, his 80 red-zone touches is another absurd number and one that probably needs to come down – and hopefully will assuming Tate stays healthy this season. The run-heavy approach helped Schaub’s red-zone efficiency rate nearly double from 15.6% in 2011 to 28.6 last season. The Texans’ run-oriented approach in the red zone did not fascinate Johnson’s owners, however, as his eight targets matched his total from his injury-plagued 2011 season. Coincidentally, Daniels’ 12 red-zone targets matched his 2011 output and led the team in both seasons. The arrival of DeAndre Hopkins probably means Houston will allow Schaub to throw 50+ passes inside the 20 for the first time since 2010, but the Texans will likely remain one of the most run-heavy teams – regardless of field position – this fall.

 Indianapolis Colts
Pos Player Att Comp PaTD PaTD % RuAtt RuAtt % RuTD RuTD % Tar Tar % Rec ReTD ReTD % RZ Pass % Pass % RZ Run % Run %
QB Andrew Luck 69 35 15 21.7 14 23 5 35.7
RB Vick Ballard  25 41 2 8 7 10 5 1 20
RB Delone Carter  5 8.2 3 60
RB Donald Brown  9 14.8 1 11.1 2 2.9 1 0 0
RB Mewelde Moore  5 8.2 0 0 1 1.4 1 1 100
RB Robert Hughes  1 1.4 1 0 0
WR Reggie Wayne  17 24.3 7 4 57.1
WR Donnie Avery  14 20 5 3 60
WR T.Y. Hilton  1 0 0 0 2 3.3 0 0 8 11.4 5 2 40
WR Nathan Palmer  1 1.4 0 0
WR LaVon Brazill  1 1.4 1 0 0
TE Dwayne Allen  1 1.6 0 0 8 11.4 6 3 50
TE Coby Fleener  8 11.4 3 1 33.3
2012 Totals 70 35 15 21.43% 61 100.1 11 18.03% 68 97 35 15 36.08% 53.44 58.8 46.56 41.2
2011 Totals 61 25 9 14.75% 47 100 7 14.89% 59 96.8 25 9 36.00% 56.48 59.83 43.52 40.17

Former OC Bruce Arians’ pass-oriented approach got much more balanced inside the 20, although Luck’s 14 red-zone runs certainly helped balance out the percentages. While new OC Pep Hamilton plans on keeping some of the same vertical-passing principles in his offense, his background at Stanford suggests he will attempt to hammer away at the defense with the running game much more than Arians did. Although it doesn’t appear to make a lot of sense to take the ball out of the hands of their best player (Luck) in scoring territory, there will be a heavy emphasis on keeping Luck’s jersey clean in the coming years. Ballard’s RuTD % is absolutely dreadful, but much of that can be explained from the lack of power in his offensive line and Luck’s tendency to steal his short scores. Ahmad Bradshaw’s arrival could mean that Ballard puts up similar red-zone numbers in 2013, or it could simply mean the Colts wanted a back who could do Brown’s job better than he could. Either way, the Luck-Bradshaw-Ballard trio should easily combine for more than 61 red-zone rush attempts in 2012. As for the receivers, expect Wayne’s targets to dip a bit while Allen and Fleener each absorb most of Avery’s outgoing targets. Owners would also be wise not to sleep on Darrius Heyward-Bey, who is a good bet to enjoy a career year – red zone and in general – if he can land a starting job. He’s a better player than Avery and a much bigger target than Hilton.

 Jacksonville Jaguars
Pos Player Att Comp PaTD PaTD % RuAtt RuAtt % RuTD RuTD % Tar Tar % Rec ReTD ReTD % RZ Pass % Pass % RZ Run % Run %
QB Chad Henne  38 18 7 18.4 3 8.6 1 33.3
QB Blaine Gabbert  31 16 6 19.4 2 5.7 0 0
RB Rashad Jennings  9 25.7 2 22.2 2 2.9 1 0 0
RB M Jones-Drew  7 20 0 0 3 4.3 2 1 50
RB Greg B. Jones  2 5.7 0 0 2 2.9 2 0 0
RB Keith Toston  1 2.9 0 0
RB Montell Owens  4 11.4 0 0 1 1.4 1 0 0
RB Richard Murphy  3 8.6 0 0
RB Jalen Parmele  4 11.4 0 0 1 1.4 0 0 0
WR Justin Blackmon  12 17.4 6 3 50
WR Cecil Shorts  12 17.4 4 2 50
WR Micheal Spurlock  6 9.8 4 1 25
WR Jordan Shipley  1 1.4 1 1 100
WR Laurent Robinson  5 7.2 2 0 0
WR Toney Clemons  1 1.4 0 0 0
WR Kevin Elliott  2 3.8 1 0 0
WR Mike Thomas  2 6.8 2 0 0
TE Marcedes Lewis  15 21.7 7 4 57.1
2012 Totals 69 34 13 18.84% 35 100 3 8.57% 65 99.8 33 12 33.07% 66.35 62.08 33.65 37.92
2011 Totals 50 22 9 18.00% 55 99.9 8 14.55% 50 100 22 9 40.91% 47.62 51.2 52.38 48.8

Jacksonville was truly putrid last season, with three pass catchers recording more red-zone targets than any rusher had red-zone rushing attempts. Needless to say when Gabbert and Henne are the quarterbacks, that “feat” should never happen at the pro level barring an incredible string of injuries at the running back position. On their third different coach and play-caller in as many years, the Jaguars have tried the balanced approach (50 runs and 55 passes in the red zone in 2011) before going completely pass-happy in 2012 (69 passes, 35 runs in 2012), although Jones-Drew holdout- and injury-shortened season played a big role in that. Expect 2013 to be more like 2011, with a possibility they could run more than they pass - assuming MJD can make it all the way through his contract year. Rookie Denard Robinson has a chance to spice up this offense, but he will almost certainly be a weapon outside the 20s. Any improvement in red-zone efficiency (which was 16.2 % in 2011 and 15.4% in 2012) will depend on how big of a step Shorts can take as well as Lewis recapturing the red-zone form that made him a fantasy delight in 2010.

 Kansas City Chiefs
Pos Player Att Comp PaTD PaTD % RuAtt RuAtt % RuTD RuTD % Tar Tar % Rec ReTD ReTD % RZ Pass % Pass % RZ Run % Run %
QB Matt Cassel  17 9 3 17.6 4 8 1 25
QB Brady Quinn  15 4 2 13.3 1 2 0 0 1 3 0 0 0
RB Jamaal Charles  23 46 1 4.3 4 12.1 3 1 33.3
RB Shaun Draughn  9 18 2 22.2 1 3 1 0 0
RB Peyton Hillis  1 0 0 0 11 22 1 9.1 1 3 0 0 0
RB Cyrus Gray  1 2 0 0
WR Dexter McCluster  1 2 0 0 5 15.2 3 1 33.3
WR Dwayne Bowe  3 9.1 1 1 100
WR Jon Baldwin  4 12.1 1 1 100
WR Terrance Copper  1 3 1 0 0
WR Jamar Newsome  2 6.1 0 0 0
TE Tony Moeaki  7 21.2 3 1 33.3
TE Steve Maneri  3 9.1 0 0 0
2012 Totals 33 13 5 15.15% 50 100 5 10.00% 32 96.9 13 5 13.42% 39.76 48.72 60.24 51.28
2011 Totals 46 21 8 17.39% 50 98.2 3 6.00% 45 97.9 20 8 40.00% 47.92 52.3 52.08 47.7

The stats and standings say Jacksonville was actually a bit better than Kansas City in 2012, but it would be a stunner if the same can be said at the end of this season. The quarterback play will be better because the talent and coaching will be better, while the running game will improve because Charles will be utilized in the way he should have been all along. Although rookie Knile Davis is a bigger back with good speed, Charles will almost certainly have his shot to improve on his 26 red-zone touches. Bowe’s three red-zone targets is remarkably low considering he has easily been the best red-zone weapon the team has employed since the Chiefs traded Tony Gonzalez following the 2008 season, so the idea that McCluster and Baldwin would see more balls thrown their way is insane. Under new HC Andy Reid, it would actually come as a surprise if Kansas City didn’t reverse its 40:60 pass-run ratio inside the 20 in 2013, with Bowe pushing 20 targets while Anthony Fasano and Travis Kelce push Charles for second place.

 Miami Dolphins
Pos Player Att Comp PaTD PaTD % RuAtt RuAtt % RuTD RuTD % Tar Tar % Rec ReTD ReTD % RZ Pass % Pass % RZ Run % Run %
QB Ryan Tannehill 44 21 8 18.2 7 13 2 28.6
QB Matt Moore  4 3 1 25
RB Reggie Bush  20 37 3 15 6 12.2 5 2 40
RB Daniel Thomas  21 38.9 4 19 4 8.2 2 0 0
RB Lamar Miller  2 3.7 1 50 1 2 1 0 0
RB Jorvorskie Lane  3 5.6 2 66.7 3 6.1 2 1 50
WR Davone Bess  4 8.2 1 1 100
WR Brian Hartline  11 22.4 1 0 0
WR Anthony Armstrong  1 1.3 1 0 0
WR Jabar Gaffney  2 4.1 0 0
WR Marlon Moore  1 1.9 0 0
TE Anthony Fasano  14 28.6 9 5 55.6
TE Charles Clay  2 4.1 2 0 0
2012 Totals 48 24 9 18.75% 54 100.1 12 22.22% 48 97.2 24 9 24.69% 47.06 53.39 52.94 46.61
2011 Totals 66 31 16 24.24% 65 99.8 9 13.85% 66 99.9 31 16 51.61% 50.38 52.63 49.62 47.37

Coincidence of the year? Tannehill had as many red-zone pass attempts in 2012 (44) as Matt Moore did for Miami in 2011. For the second straight season, the Dolphins were one of the more balanced offenses inside the 20 despite a coaching and philosophical change. The biggest difference was the team didn’t have Brandon Marshall as its default option in the red zone (21 targets in 2011) and saw its pass attempts inside the 20 drop from 66 to 48, with Hartline only getting a slight bump (from eight to 11) despite his breakout season. While Mike Wallace isn’t strictly a downfield receiver, he also isn’t going to step into Marshall’s red-zone role either, meaning Miami will likely lean heavily on the running game inside the 20. As a result, Dustin Keller has a very good chance at collecting all of Fasano’s red-zone work and then some. Miller has an outside shot at becoming Miami’s feature back – which would mean stealing the goal-line work from Thomas as well – but his audition for that role would be significantly helped by the presence of free-agent FB Vonta Leach, who is reportedly leaning towards signing with the team. Miller should be the clear between-the-20s back at the very least and is probably a solid bet to see more red-zone work than Bush did over the last two years (29 touches in 2011, 25 in 2012).

 Minnesota Vikings
Pos Player Att Comp PaTD PaTD % RuAtt RuAtt % RuTD RuTD % Tar Tar % Rec ReTD ReTD % RZ Pass % Pass % RZ Run % Run %
QB Christian Ponder 69 41 17 24.6 6 8.1 1 16.7
RB Adrian Peterson  59 79.7 8 13.6 7 10.1 5 1 20
RB Toby Gerhart  4 5.4 1 25 5 7.2 4 0 0
RB Matt Asiata  1 1.4 1 0 0
WR Percy Harvin  5 6.8 1 20 13 18.8 8 3 37.5
WR Michael Jenkins  10 14.5 4 2 50
WR Jarius Wright  5 7.2 3 2 66.7
WR Stephen Burton  4 5.8 2 1 50
WR Devin Aromashodu  3 4.3 0 0
TE Kyle Rudolph  15 21.7 12 8 66.7
TE Rhett Ellison  2 2.9 0 0
TE John Carlson  2 2.9 1 0 0
TE Allen Reisner  1 1.4 1 0 0
2012 Totals 69 41 17 24.64% 74 100 11 14.86% 68 98.2 41 17 41.75% 48.25 49.85 51.75 50.15
2011 Totals 59 38 14 23.73% 68 100 16 23.53% 58 98.5 38 14 36.84% 46.46 55.51 53.54 44.49

Ponder may not be the second coming of Fran Tarkenton, but he should get a ton of credit for the ability he has shown as a red-zone passer so far. After leading the league as a rookie in red-zone completion percentage (77.8% in 2011), Ponder was more than solid (59.4) in his second season. He improved despite the fact most of his supporting cast – the receivers and tight ends behind Harvin and Rudolph – did not carry their weight. Harvin was lost for the final seven games, which made it virtually pointless for Minnesota to pass the ball when teams could cover Rudolph. One might ask how Peterson could score fewer red-zone touchdowns on more carries (8-for-59) in 2012 after scoring 11 times on 34 red-zone carries in 2011, but understand Peterson had an unreal year when it came to breaking big plays (27 rushes for over 20 yards; Chris Johnson is the only other player – with 22 in 2009 – besides Peterson to break more than 20 such runs over the last 10 seasons). History is unlikely to repeat itself in that regard again for Peterson, if only because the Vikings should have more receiving talent available to them this season. Rudolph will most likely lead the pack with nearly 20 red-zone targets in 2013, with Jennings probably absorbing most of Harvin’s passing-game workload. Rookie Cordarrelle Patterson, who the Vikings should spoon-feed this season, would make sense as a red-zone option to replace Jenkins’ 2012 numbers inside the 20.

 New England Patriots
Pos Player Att Comp PaTD PaTD % RuAtt RuAtt % RuTD RuTD % Tar Tar % Rec ReTD ReTD % RZ Pass % Pass % RZ Run % Run %
QB Tom Brady 81 49 24 29.6 7 6.1 4 57.1
RB Stevan Ridley  58 50.4 12 20.7 1 1.2 0 0
RB Danny Woodhead  19 16.5 4 21.1 8 9.9 5 3 60
RB Shane Vereen  13 11.3 3 23.1 3 3.7 1 0 0
RB Brandon Bolden  18 15.7 2 11.1
WR Wes Welker  16 19.8 12 5 41.7
WR Brandon Lloyd  13 16 9 2 22.2
WR Julian Edelman  6 7.4 3 2 66.7
WR Deion Branch  2 2.5 1 0 0
TE Rob Gronkowski  17 21 10 8 80
TE Aaron Hernandez  12 14.8 7 4 57.1
TE Daniel Fells  1 1.2 0 0
TE M Hoomanawanui 1 1.2 1 0 0
2012 Totals 81 49 24 29.63% 115 100 25 21.74% 80 98.7 49 24 49.65% 41.33 55.07 58.67 44.93
2011 Totals 99 57 29 29.29% 94 99 16 17.02% 98 99 57 29 50.88% 51.3 59.52 48.7 40.48

As impressive as the Patriots’ 193 red-zone plays in 2011 was, they improved to 196 snaps in 2012. To put that number into some kind of perspective, only the Giants (178) were relatively close to their league-leading total. For further perspective, only a handful of teams managed more than 140 snaps inside the 20. Thanks to an offseason of change that no one could have imagined, fantasy owners cannot expect 29.6% of Brady’s red-zone passes to end up in scores nor can they anticipate New England running enough plays in scoring territory to give four running backs at least 16 touches. The Patriots’ staggering 115 red-zone rushing attempts dwarfed the second-place Giants (95), another number New England should not approach in 2013. Vereen will probably be asked to assume Woodhead’s touches from last year plus his own and then add some of Hernandez’s targets as well, making it possible that he could be a top-end fantasy RB3 in PPR leagues. Danny Amendola’s injury history suggests he won’t be able to pick up all of Welker’s slack, meaning the Patriots are either going to give a (hopefully) healthy Gronkowski 30 red-zone targets or they just won’t be scoring nearly as much.

 New Orleans Saints
Pos Player Att Comp PaTD PaTD % RuAtt RuAtt % RuTD RuTD % Tar Tar % Rec ReTD ReTD % RZ Pass % Pass % RZ Run % Run %
QB Drew Brees 96 60 31 32.3 1 2.3 1 100
QB Chase Daniel  2 4.5 0 0
RB Darren Sproles  5 11.4 1 20 19 19.8 14 5 35.7
RB Mark Ingram  19 43.2 4 21.1 2 2.1 2 0 0
RB Pierre Thomas  15 34.1 1 6.7 8 8.3 5 1 20
RB Jed Collins  3 3.1 3 2 66.7
RB Travaris Cadet  2 2.1 1 0 0
RB Chris Ivory  2 4.5 0 0
WR Marques Colston  22 22.9 16 9 56.3
WR Lance Moore  14 14.6 7 4 57.1
WR Joe Morgan  1 1 0 0
WR Devery Henderson  1 1 0 0
TE Jimmy Graham  16 16.7 8 7 87.5
TE David Thomas  6 6.3 4 3 75
2012 Totals 96 60 31 32.29% 44 100 7 15.91% 94 97.9 60 31 61.29% 68.57 64.46 31.43 35.54
2011 Totals 96 62 30 31.25% 70 100 13 18.57% 94 97.9 62 30 48.39% 57.83 61.41 42.17 38.59

It shouldn’t take too long to identify the main difference between the 2011 and 2012 Saints – red-zone rushing attempts. Brees threw one more pass inside the 20, completed one fewer pass but threw for one more touchdown than he did in 2011, but New Orleans’ 70 red-zone rushing attempts last season were substantially more than the 44 it posted in 2012. Pierre Thomas’ workload inside the 20 (20 touches) was a surprising number, especially considering that he was nearly unusable in fantasy for most of the season. Sproles missed three games due to injury, but his 19 red-zone touches aren’t enough for a matchup-nightmare player like him (he had 29 in 2011). Ingram hasn’t been particularly productive in either of his first two seasons (a combined 8-for-42 at scoring touchdowns inside the 20), but he also hasn’t been healthy for most of that time either. Along with Sproles’ drop-off, the biggest surprise was the 10-target decline for Graham, who appeared to lose most of his opportunities to Colston (nine more targets than 2011). With Graham and Sproles healthy again, expect order to be restored and both players to top 20 red-zone targets again in 2013. One thing is clear in the second year of this study: if Brees hits someone other than Sproles, Colston, Moore or Graham inside the 20, it should come as a shock. The quartet has combined for 144 of the 192 red-zone targets (75%) the Saints have managed over the last two seasons.

 New York Giants
Pos Player Att Comp PaTD PaTD % RuAtt RuAtt % RuTD RuTD % Tar Tar % Rec ReTD ReTD % RZ Pass % Pass % RZ Run % Run %
QB Eli Manning 82 37 18 22 5 5.3 0 0
QB David Carr  1 0 0 0
RB Ahmad Bradshaw  50 52.6 6 12 2 2.4 1 0 0
RB Andre Brown  19 20 8 42.1 2 2.4 1 0 0
RB David Wilson  15 15.8 2 13.3 3 3.6 1 1 100
RB Da’Rel Scott  5 5.3 0 0
RB Henry Hynoski  3 3.6 2 1 50
RB Kregg Lumpkin  1 1.1 0 0
WR Victor Cruz  18 21.7 10 6 60
WR Rueben Randle  7 8.4 3 2 66.7
WR Hakeem Nicks  17 20.5 6 1 16.7
WR Ramses Barden  1 1.2 0 0
WR Domenik Hixon  11 13.3 5 2 40
TE Martellus Bennett  16 19.3 7 4 57.1
TE Bear Pascoe  2 2.4 1 1 100
2012 Totals 83 37 18 21.69% 95 100.1 16 16.84% 82 98.8 37 18 37.45% 46.63 56.86 53.37 43.14
2011 Totals 71 36 15 21.13% 61 99.9 17 27.87% 71 100 36 15 41.67% 53.79 60.02 46.21 39.98

Likely in part because the Giants’ receivers and tight ends (namely Nicks and Bennett) could not stay healthy last season, New York ran the ball a lot in the red zone in 2012. Bradshaw’s 50 attempts inside the 20 were tied with Michael Turner for the seventh-most in the league and more than double the total he had in 2011. In fact, the Giants ran the ball in the red zone 34 more times last season. Surprisingly, even Wilson – who was benched for much of the season due to fumbling concerns – still managed 15 red-zone attempts, although most of them likely came as a result of Brown’s season-ending leg injury. Assuming New York can maintain the same kind of pace it has set over the past two seasons (132 red-zone plays in 2011, 178 in 2012), the odds are very good that Brown will be among the league leaders in attempts and touchdowns inside the 20 while Wilson should probably anticipate something nearing Bradshaw’s 2011 workload (24 carries, four receptions). The Giants have maintained great red-zone balance in each of the past two seasons, placing four receivers/tight ends in double figures despite swapping out Mario Manningham and Jake Ballard for Domenik Hixon and Martellus Bennett. This year, the new WR3 and TE1 figure to be Randle and Brandon Myers, both of which should see about 10-12 red-zone targets if recent history holds to form.

 New York Jets
Pos Player Att Comp PaTD PaTD % RuAtt RuAtt % RuTD RuTD % Tar Tar % Rec ReTD ReTD % RZ Pass % Pass % RZ Run % Run %
QB Mark Sanchez 46 19 10 21.7 3 3.4 0 0
QB Greg McElroy  2 1 1 50 3 3.4 0 0
QB Tim Tebow  9 10.1 0 0
RB Shonn Greene  47 52.8 8 17
RB Bilal Powell  19 21.3 4 21.1 3 6.3 0 0
RB Lex Hilliard  1 1.1 0 0 1 2.1 0 0
RB Joe McKnight  6 6.7 0 0
WR Stephen Hill  6 12.5 2 2 100
WR Jeremy Kerley  1 1.1 0 0 10 20.8 6 2 33.3
WR Santonio Holmes  2 4.2 2 1 50
WR Braylon Edwards  5 10.4 1 1 50
WR Chaz Schilens  6 12.5 2 1 50
WR Jason Hill  1 2.1 1 1 100
WR Clyde Gates  1 2.1 0 0
TE Jeff Cumberland  6 12.5 3 2 66.7
TE Dustin Keller  7 14.6 3 2 66.7
TE Konrad Reuland  1 2.1 0 0
2012 Totals 48 20 11 22.92% 89 99.9 12 13.48% 49 102.2 20 12 19.57% 35.04 49.95 64.96 50.05
2011 Totals 79 42 21 26.58% 67 100 13 19.40% 79 101 42 21 50.00% 54.11 56.99 45.89 43.01

The Jets wanted to get back to the running game in 2012, but they almost set football back about 50 years instead. The Jets somehow managed 137 red-zone snaps, 89 of which were running plays. The resulting 35:65 pass-run ratio was the second-most lopsided mark in the league last season, even more so than the Texans. Greene did little to justify his feature-back role or enhance his questionable reputation as a short-yardage/goal-line back; an aging LaDainian Tomlinson was slightly more successful than he was in 2011 and Powell trumped him in 2012. Chris Ivory should have little trouble improving on Greene’s 17% red-zone scoring rate, assuming he can stay healthy all season. The passing game was a joke for most of the season and little information can actually be gathered from last year’s stats since the Jets moved on from run-oriented OC Tony Sparano to West Coast offense aficionado Marty Mornhinweg. Sanchez or rookie Geno Smith will start – neither of which may end up being a good fit for the new offense – and the receivers are either injured or figure to be poor fits in the offense. While New York will almost certainly be more balanced in 2013, it is hard to say it will be any more effective.

 Oakland Raiders
Pos Player Att Comp PaTD PaTD % RuAtt RuAtt % RuTD RuTD % Tar Tar % Rec ReTD ReTD % RZ Pass % Pass % RZ Run % Run %
QB Carson Palmer 63 33 13 20.6 6 13 1 16.7
QB Terrelle Pryor  4 4 2 50 4 8.7 1 25
QB Matt Leinart  5 1 0 0
RB Darren McFadden  29 63 1 3.4 4 5.6 3 1 33.3
RB Mike Goodson  3 6.5 0 0 1 1.4 1 0 0
RB Marcel Reece  3 6.5 0 0 7 9.7 5 1 20
RB Jeremy Stewart  1 2.2 0 0
WR Denarius Moore  12 16.7 8 4 50
WR D Heyward-Bey  10 13.9 6 2 33.3
WR Rod Streater  11 15.3 3 1 33.3
WR Juron Criner  6 8.3 2 1 50
WR Derek Hagan  2 2.8 0 0
TE Brandon Myers  13 18.1 8 4 50
TE Richard Gordon  3 4.2 1 1 100
TE David Ausberry  2 2.8 1 0 0
2012 Totals 72 38 15 20.83% 46 99.9 3 6.52% 71 98.8 38 15 38.46% 61.02 62.59 38.98 37.41
2011 Totals 44 23 10 22.73% 69 99.9 14 20.29% 43 97.8 23 10 43.48% 38.94 54.09 61.06 45.91

Similar to a team like the Saints, the Raiders can thank their defense for their lopsided 72:46 pass-run ratio. Oakland was behind so often on the scoreboard last year that Palmer nearly built his entire stat line when his team was trailing (2,972 yards, 20 TDs and 11 interceptions), which probably made the Raiders long for the days when Hue Jackson was calling the shots. Regardless, the team scrapped the one-year zone-blocking scheme experiment and will return to the man-blocking approach that McFadden thrived in under Jackson. It’s doubtful Oakland will be good enough on offense this season to match the 69 red-zone runs it had in 2011 (or get the 40 such carries from McFadden that Michael Bush had that season), but expect Oakland to be extremely run-heavy when it does make it inside the 20. Matt Flynn and Tyler Wilson are each capable of being efficient in the red zone, but new OC Greg Olson wasn’t hired to watch his unproven quarterbacks take the ball out of McFadden’s hands. With Marcel Reece likely to steal significant third-down snaps, the Raiders will have no excuse not to ride McFadden as hard as they can in the red zone.

 Philadelphia Eagles
Pos Player Att Comp PaTD PaTD % RuAtt RuAtt % RuTD RuTD % Tar Tar % Rec ReTD ReTD % RZ Pass % Pass % RZ Run % Run %
QB Michael Vick 44 20 9 20.5 8 14.8 1 12.5
QB Nick Foles  27 11 4 14.8 3 5.6 1 33.3
RB LeSean McCoy  23 42.6 2 8.7 9 12.7 6 3 50
RB Bryce Brown  15 27.8 3 20 2 2.8 0 0
RB Dion Lewis  2 3.7 1 50
RB Stanley Havili  2 3.7 1 50
WR Jeremy Maclin  16 22.5 8 3 37.5
WR Riley Cooper  4 5.6 4 3 75
WR DeSean Jackson  6 8.5 2 1 50
WR Jason Avant  5 7 1 0 0
WR Damaris Johnson  1 1.9 0 0 1 1.4 0 0
TE Clay Harbor  9 12.7 5 2 40
TE Brent Celek  10 14.1 5 1 20
TE Evan Moore  2 2.8 0 0
2012 Totals 71 31 13 18.31% 54 100.1 9 16.67% 64 90.1 31 13 34.41% 56.8 59.9 43.2 40.1
2011 Totals 72 37 17 23.61% 85 100 17 20.00% 68 94.6 37 17 45.95% 45.86 56.56 54.14 43.44

McCoy is one example of how much red-zone production (and efficiency) can change in one season. In 2011, 28% of his carries and 25% of his targets inside the 20 ended up as touchdowns. One year later, 8.7% of his carries and 33.3% of his targets ended the same way. However, the biggest difference was the lack of opportunities – the lack of opportunities the Eagles’ battered offensive line gave him as well as the 32 chances had in the red zone last year versus the 62 he had in 2011. It is unlikely that any of the last two seasons’ worth of red-zone information will have much bearing on 2013, which might be a good thing for Philadelphia fans that got tired of seeing Andy Reid’s teams stall inside the 20 year after year. Even though West Coast devotee Pat Shurmur is on staff as the offensive coordinator, this should be HC Chip Kelly’s show in terms of how the offense is operated. Based on his college days, that means the Eagles should lead the league in snaps and supply fantasy owners with two running backs worthy of starting status. Maclin should remain the top target in the red zone regardless of whom Kelly decides on at quarterback, but Celek’s days as a starting-caliber tight end in fantasy are probably over – at least in Philly. Two wild-cards for sneaky red-zone production are James Casey and ex-Buc Arrelious Benn, although McCoy and Brown should benefit the most from the arrival of Kelly, assuming he doesn’t deviate much from his days at Oregon.

 Pittsburgh Steelers
Pos Player Att Comp PaTD PaTD % RuAtt RuAtt % RuTD RuTD % Tar Tar % Rec ReTD ReTD % RZ Pass % Pass % RZ Run % Run %
QB Ben Roethlisberger 67 37 19 28.4 1 1.9 0 0
QB Charlie Batch  2 2 1 50
QB Byron Leftwich  4 1 0 0
RB Jonathan Dwyer  24 44.4 2 8.3 1 1.4 0 0
RB Isaac Redman  17 31.5 2 11.8 2 2.7 2 0 0
RB Chris Rainey  2 3.7 2 100 2 2.7 0 0
RB R Mendenhall  4 7.4 0 0 1 1.4 1 1 100
RB Baron Batch  3 5.6 1 33.3
RB Will Johnson  4 5.5 1 1 100
WR Antonio Brown  1 1.9 0 0 9 12.3 6 4 66.7
WR Mike Wallace  1 1.9 0 0 17 23.3 10 3 30
WR Plaxico Burress  2 2.7 1 1 100
WR Emmanuel Sanders  5 6.8 3 1 33.3
WR Jerricho Cotchery  4 5.5 2 0 0
TE Heath Miller  19 26 12 7 58.3
TE Leonard Pope  2 2.7 2 2 100
TE David Paulson  1 1.4 0 0
2012 Totals 73 40 20 27.40% 53 98.3 7 13.21% 69 94.4 40 20 42.37% 57.94 58.22 42.06 41.78
2011 Totals 58 28 15 25.86% 67 100.1 12 17.91% 58 99.9 28 15 53.57% 46.4 57.24 53.6 42.76

Shockingly, Wallace tied the likes of Calvin Johnson, Hakeem Nicks, Reggie Wayne and Roddy White with 17 targets inside the 20. Wallace also scored more red-zone touchdowns (three) than Johnson (two) and Nicks (one), which was another stunner. But with the speedster off to Miami and Miller’s status uncertain coming off an ACL injury, the Steelers need Brown and second-round selection Le’Veon Bell to pick up the slack in a big way. Brown is a good bet to assume Wallace’s 17 targets, but don’t be surprised if Bell commands turns a sizable chunk of Miller’s targets in the passing game into rushing attempts – assuming Miller isn’t ready to start the season – while also taking on most of Dwyer and Redman’s red-zone workload from a season ago. Pittsburgh’s willingness to incorporate outside zone runs behind what should be a very capable and athletic offensive line should result in more scoring opportunities for Bell than the Steelers had last season, but it should be a different story in the passing game. Expect a fairly equal distribution for red-zone chances behind Miller, with no player except him managing more than 12 targets.

 San Diego Chargers
Pos Player Att Comp PaTD PaTD % RuAtt RuAtt % RuTD RuTD % Tar Tar % Rec ReTD ReTD % RZ Pass % Pass % RZ Run % Run %
QB Philip Rivers 61 40 18 29.5 6 11.1 0 0
RB Jackie Battle  16 29.6 3 18.8 3 4.9 3 1 33.3
RB Ryan Mathews  15 27.8 1 6.7 3 4.9 3 0 0
RB Ronnie Brown  4 7.4 0 0 12 19.7 10 0 0
RB Curtis Brinkley  10 18.5 0 0 2 3.3 1 0 0
RB Le’Ron McClain  2 3.7 0 0 1 1.6 1 0 0
WR Malcom Floyd  10 16.4 5 4 80
WR Danario Alexander  3 4.9 2 2 100
WR Robert Meachem  1 1.9 0 0 2 3.3 1 1 100
WR Eddie Royal  3 4.9 1 1 100
TE Antonio Gates  10 16.4 7 6 85.7
TE Dante Rosario  7 11.5 4 3 75
TE Randy McMichael  1 1.6 1 0 0
2012 Totals 61 40 18 29.51% 54 100 4 7.41% 57 93.4 39 18 41.76% 53.04 56.23 46.96 43.77
2011 Totals 64 30 14 21.88% 68 99.9 15 22.06% 60 93.8 30 14 46.67% 48.48 58.4 51.52 41.6

Norv Turner’s final season in charge turned out to be a disastrous one, if only because “bellcow” Mathews couldn’t stay healthy and the offensive line couldn’t block. Rivers was actually considerably more efficient in the red zone than he was the previous year (40-of-61 with 18 touchdowns in 2012; 30-of-64 with 14 scores in 2011). But the biggest losses were those of Vincent Jackson to Tampa Bay, Vincent Brown to injury and the continued decline from Gates. It wasn’t until Alexander arrived near midseason that San Diego had someone that could seriously threaten a defense in the red zone – and even he was underutilized. New HC Mike McCoy and OC Ken Whisenhunt’s offense promises to be built around the short passing game, something that should benefit the Chargers’ stable of big receivers while also helping the team’s below-average offensive line. The most interesting dynamic to watch may be how Danny Woodhead is used inside the 20. Mathews may get his shot to secure the goal-line role, but McCoy may have no other choice but to lean on Woodhead when he wants to pass and McClain when he wants to run in the red zone if Mathews cannot stay healthy yet again. As a result of the questionable running back situation, the Chargers may wind up being one of the most pass-heavy offenses inside the 20 – partly because they have the big receivers needed to pull it off and partly out of necessity.

 Seattle Seahawks
Pos Player Att Comp PaTD PaTD % RuAtt RuAtt % RuTD RuTD % Tar Tar % Rec ReTD ReTD % RZ Pass % Pass % RZ Run % Run %
QB Russell Wilson 59 34 18 30.5 12 16.7 3 25
QB Matt Flynn  3 1 0 0
RB Marshawn Lynch  51 70.8 7 13.7 2 3.2 2 1 50
RB Leon Washington  2 2.8 1 50 0 0 0 0
RB Robert Turbin  7 9.7 0 0 2 3.2 2 0 0
RB Michael Robinson  5 8.1 3 2 66.7
WR Sidney Rice  13 21 7 4 57.1
WR Golden Tate  12 19.4 9 4 44.4
WR Doug Baldwin  7 11.3 4 2 50
WR Braylon Edwards  4 6.5 1 0 0
WR Charly Martin  1 1.6 0 0
TE Zach Miller  6 9.7 5 2 40
TE Anthony McCoy  4 6.5 2 2 100
2012 Totals 62 35 18 29.03% 72 100 11 15.28% 56 90.5 35 17 38.67% 46.27 43.04 53.73 56.96
2011 Totals 50 25 9 18.00% 57 100.1 12 21.05% 50 100 25 9 36.00% 46.73 49.85 53.27 50.15

To almost no one’s surprise, a rookie quarterback was able to top a Tarvaris Jackson-led offense. To almost everyone’s surprise, Wilson was one of the best fantasy quarterbacks in the league in his first season. Seattle’s running game was actually more efficient in the red zone two years ago than last year (21.05% RuTD percentage in 2011, 15.28 in 2012), but Wilson’s 30.5% PaTD rate made him only one of four quarterbacks to top 30% last season (Rodgers, Brees and Peyton Manning were the others). With his athleticism and upgraded supporting cast (buoyed by the trade for Percy Harvin), don’t look for that number to decline much in 2013, if only because the Seahawks don’t have any plans to change their smashmouth ways. Seattle doesn’t seem likely to be one of the teams that will attempt to go up-tempo since it has such a rugged defense, so don’t look for significantly more red-zone plays than the 134 the team had last year. Instead, Harvin will probably steal most of the targets that went to Baldwin, Edwards and McCoy last year. Tate has managed 12 red-zone targets in each of the last two years and HC Pete Carroll wants him more involved in the offense, so it is possible that Rice takes a back seat to his smaller counterparts.

 San Francisco 49ers
Pos Player Att Comp PaTD PaTD % RuAtt RuAtt % RuTD RuTD % Tar Tar % Rec ReTD ReTD % RZ Pass % Pass % RZ Run % Run %
QB Colin Kaepernick 29 14 5 17.2 15 18.1 4 26.7
QB Alex Smith 17 12 8 47.1 2 2.4 0 0
RB Frank Gore  35 42.2 6 17.1 3 6.5 3 1 33.3
RB Kendall Hunter  12 14.5 2 16.7
RB Anthony Dixon  9 10.8 2 22.2
RB Brandon Jacobs  1 1.2 0 0
RB LaMichael James  6 7.2 0 0 1 2.2 1 0 0
RB Bruce Miller  2 2.4 0 0 2 4.3 2 0 0
WR Michael Crabtree  10 21.7 5 5 100
WR M Manningham  5 10.9 5 1 20
WR Randy Moss  9 19.6 2 1 50
WR Kyle Williams  1 1.2 0 0 4 8.7 2 0 0
TE Vernon Davis  5 10.9 3 3 100
TE Delanie Walker  6 13 3 2 66.7
TE Garrett Celek  1 2.2 0 0
2012 Totals 46 26 13 28.26% 83 100 14 16.87% 46 100 26 13 26.00% 35.66 46.98 64.34 53.02
2011 Totals 61 25 9 14.75% 82 99.9 13 15.85% 61 99.9 25 9 36.00% 42.96 55.73 57.04 44.27

Kaepernick didn’t take over until Week 11, which obviously led to a huge spike in Crabtree’s usage inside the 20…right? On one hand, he saw at least one red-zone target in each game over the final four contests of the season. But contrary to popular belief, Crabtree was targeted only once in the red zone in the first three weeks following Kaepernick’s rise to the top of the depth chart and finished 2012 with five fewer targets. The upside? Every catch Crabtree made in the red zone was a touchdown. Like Houston, San Francisco sported an extremely lopsided pass-run ratio (46:83) but was successful in doing so because each team had top-flight defenses that allowed them to run the ball throughout the game in just about every contest. The Niners will be hard-pressed to match last season’s success in the red zone – a relatively ho-hum 20.9 % of their red-zone snaps resulted in touchdowns – but Kaepernick averaged exactly five red-zone plays per game in his seven starts, which works out to 80 over a full season. (That’s a total only nine other quarterbacks reached in 2012.) As for what it all means in 2013, San Francisco should remain a run-heavy team inside the 20, with Anquan Boldin and Davis the only two players within an earshot of double-digit red-zone targets.

 St. Louis Rams
Pos Player Att Comp PaTD PaTD % RuAtt RuAtt % RuTD RuTD % Tar Tar % Rec ReTD ReTD % RZ Pass % Pass % RZ Run % Run %
QB Sam Bradford 60 33 13 21.7 4 10.3 1 25
QB Kellen Clemens  1 0 0 0
RB Steven Jackson  27 69.2 4 14.8 7 11.3 3 0 0
RB Daryl Richardson  7 17.9 0 0 4 6.5 3 0 0
RB Isaiah Pead  1 2.6 0 0
WR Austin Pettis  9 14.5 5 4 80
WR Danny Amendola  12 19.4 8 3 37.5
WR Brandon Gibson  8 12.9 4 3 75
WR Brian Quick  7 11.3 2 1 50
WR Chris Givens  3 4.8 2 0 0
WR Steve Smith  4 6.5 2 0 0
TE Lance Kendricks  6 9.7 4 2 50
TE Matthew Mulligan  1 1.6 1 1 100
2012 Totals 61 33 13 21.31% 39 100 5 12.82% 61 98.5 34 14 34.52% 61 57.6 39 42.4
2011 Totals 43 13 5 11.63% 29 99.8 6 20.69% 42 97.8 13 5 38.46% 59.72 59.62 40.28 40.38

Knowing what we know now about the 2013 Rams, one can’t help but wonder if HC Jeff Fisher and OC Brian Schottenheimer weren’t preparing for a pass-happy attack a year early. Bradford nearly doubled his red-zone attempts (from 32 to 60) despite the fact that higher-quality receivers should have opened the door for Jackson to see significantly more opportunities at the goal line. Amendola and Pettis essentially assumed the lead roles inside the 20 from Brandon Lloyd and Danario Alexander while three other players saw as many as six red-zone targets. With first-round selection Tavon Austin and Jared Cook joining the party, St. Louis will probably be getting more than 100 snaps in the red zone, but it would be a shocker if the Rams decided to deviate from their 61:39 pass-run ratio in that area. In fact, it could get as high as 65:35 considering the team is unlikely to give rookie Zac Stacy more touches – on a percentage basis – than it did Jackson. Austin and Cook should get the most work and see between 12-15 targets, while players like Pettis, Quick and Givens may all reach double digits as well.

 Tampa Bay Bucs
Pos Player Att Comp PaTD PaTD % RuAtt RuAtt % RuTD RuTD % Tar Tar % Rec ReTD ReTD % RZ Pass % Pass % RZ Run % Run %
QB Josh Freeman 68 38 20 29.4 3 4.5 0 0
QB Dan Orlovsky  3 1 0 0
RB Doug Martin  53 80.3 6 11.3 4 5.6 2 0 0
RB LeGarrette Blount  10 15.2 2 20
RB Erik Lorig  3 4.2 2 1 50