I got an interesting question last night during one of my on-again, off-again Twitter Q&As, and it led me to do a little research that paid off in a big way.
@TheFalcoholic is there a graphic or stat that shows what % of redzone throws that have gone to Julio the last 2 or 3 seasons?— Intellectual Killah (@IAmPhillyC) July 6, 2016
I don’t know exactly how reliable NFLsavant.com really is, so you’ll have to take this with a slight grain of salt, but it does break down how the Falcons elected to use their red zone opportunities in the passing game in 2015. The upshot is that Julio Jones was targeted the most often in the red zone but was not Matt Ryan’s most reliable target.
Interestingly enough, that distinction belonged to Jacob Tamme, who caught five red zone passes on seven targets, though he scored just once. Devonta Freeman was surprisingly second on the team in red zone targets and did quite well with them, catching nine of his 14 targets and scoring four touchdowns along the way.
These stats also highlight how important it is to be efficient with your red zone opportunities, because the Falcons got just 68 passes in total inside the 20 a year ago, scoring 15 touchdowns on them. If they want to take a giant stride or two forward, getting a few more opportunities (and capitalizing on them) would certainly go a long way.