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The Importance Of Getting To The Red Zone For The Falcons

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Great, you're saying, a post about the Falcons' red zone failings! Just what we need. You might think that after bitterly recalling the Patriots loss, where the Falcons only managed a single touchdown and field goal. You could be forgive for thinking that, but you'd be wrong.

The Falcons actually made the most of their chances two Sundays ago, given that they only made it inside the Patriots' 20 twice. The week before that against the Carolina Panthers, they had three touchdowns on three trips into the red zone. Against the Miami Dolphins, they had a similar level of success, scoring two touchdowns and grabbing a field goal, with their only failure to score coming on the last drive of the game when they kneeled to run out the clock. That's a very, very good success rate.

It underlines the fact that once they're 20 or fewer yards out, the Falcons are damn near impossible to stop. Field goals aren't nearly as good as touchdowns, but they're much better than turnovers or a complete failure to score, so we'll give them half credit or more there. The problem is that we're not getting there often enough, and I would tend to blame an offense that thus far has been content to try out conservative plays and march down the field slowly. Unfortunately for us, many of those drives are going nowhere.

What I'd hope to see against an effective San Fransisco 49ers defense is a more aggressive effort that either gets us close where we seem to do a lot of damage, or bypasses the red zone entirely on long scores. The worst thing we can do is get into the trap of taking only what the defense gives us. This isn't the kind of offense that needs to be timid.

Your thoughts?