These "freak out even though it's the exhibition season!" stories are coming fast and furious. Here is one from CBS Sports' Mike Singer. Singer thinks the Falcons' lack of red zone success is a cause for concern.
The offense as a whole has underperformed when nearing the goal line. As evidence, through two exhibition games, the Falcons are the No. 2 team in the NFL with an average of 408 yards per game. Atlanta has converted that into just 36 points, 20th-best in the league. Two preseason games is relatively nothing in the context of an NFL season, but the trend has caught Ryan's attention.
Singer focuses a lot on the Bengals game. In that game, when they were in the red zone, the Falcons relied heavily on passing plays. They had little success. But come on, it's one game, what can that really mean? Not a whole heck of a lot, unless you buy the notion that Koetter will be too pass-happy at times.
It's certainly a problem we haven't had in recent years. We're used to Mularkey's pound-the-rock mentality. I certainly don't want us to swing too far towards the other end of the spectrum, but this is a passing league. When all is said and done, I'm pretty confident the Falcons will figure out how to score in the red zone. In 2011, the Falcons' red zone touchdown percentage was 51 percent (9 percent less than in 2010). If you're curious how everyone else did, check this out.