Analyzing the Buccaneers' 2012 Red Zone Efficiency

Al Messerschmidt

What is it and does it matter?

Red zone is the area on an NFL field that is designated from the 20 yard line to the goal line. Red Zone efficiency is the percentage a team scores a touchdown in the Red Zone. The Red Zone efficiency mean for all 32 teams is 53.1% efficiency, based upon the stats on teamrankings.com site. The high is 68.5%, the low is 27.0% and the median for the league is 53.6%. Note: the mean average and median (middle number of an ordered set) run very similar to one another which translates there is an even amount of teams that are above and below 53%.

I did my own manual research upon two teams, which means I literally thumbed through each game day stat and collected all the Red Zone information from ESPN.com. (Two games seem odd as they don’t count scoring from the 20 yard line in two games, one for Team A and the other for Team B. So now I know where possible discrepancies occur between teamrankings.com, ESPN.com, and me, but still relatively similar results.) The identity of the teams will not be revealed until the end of the article.

Team A


Red Zone Efficiency

Game


TD Only


Red Zone


Success


Red Zone


Att


Red Zone


Eff %


1


1

3

0.33

2


1

1

1

3


1

2

0.5

4


2

2

1

Sum


5

8

Average %


0.625

5


3

5

0.6

6


3

5

0.6

7


3

4

0.75

8


3

4

0.75

9


2

2

1

10


2

3

0.66

Sum


16

23

Average %


0.696

11


2

3

0.66

12


2

3

0.66

13


3

3

1

14


0

2

0

15


0

3

0

16


1

3

0.33

Sum


8

17

Average %


0.470

Total


29

48

Total Average %


0.604


Team B


Red Zone Efficiency

Game


TD Only


Red Zone


Success


Red Zone


Att


Red Zone


Eff


1


0

1

0

2


1

5

0.2

3


1

5

0.2

4


2

3

0.66

Sum


4

14

Average %


0.285

5


0

2

0

6


4

4

1

7


1

2

0.5

8


3

4

0.75

9


2

3

0.66

10


1

2

0.5

Sum


11

17

Average %


0.647

11


2

4

0.5

12


3

4

0.75

13


3

5

0.6

14


4

6

0.66

15


2

2

1

16


2

3

0.66

Sum


16

24

Average %


0.666

Total


31

55

Total Average %


0.563


Team A has a Red Zone efficiency (RZE) of 60.4%. (Note: This information does not coincide with teamrankings.com’s Red Zone efficiency stats, but I will assume that the rankings should be similar if translated from ESPN’s collection of stats. Hence, I will be using teamranking.com’s ranking as a base for team rankings.) That would rank Team A as the eighth best RZE. Team B was ranked the 11th best RZE. Before we continue on, let us consolidate the information into trimesters.

RZE Comparison: Team A vs Team B


Term


Team A


Team B


1st


0.625

0.285

2nd


0.696

0.647

3rd


0.470

0.666

Total


0.604

0.563

Obviously, we can tell the teams progressed in different directions, but both are above the RZE mean average. Team A could not get into the Red Zone as often as it did during the 2nd trimester. Team B simply took off after a rough start from the first four games. They, Team B, had discovered ways to score in the Red Zone as well as accumulate more opportunities. On the other hand, Team A had struggled to find the Red Zone in the last trimester. In fact, teamrankings.com has Team A as 24th overall in Red Zone opportunities in the league.

Both teams rank in the upper tier in RZE. Team A looks as though they’re more potent, but were lacking the opportunities in the last six games set. Something terrible must have had occurred in the last trimester of the season for Team A to not gain more opportunities as well as a drop in production.

So which one is the Bucs and which one is not? Team A is the Bucs Red Zone Efficiency (RZE) for 2012 season. Team B is the Bucs’ Red Zone Efficiency on defense. Or should we say deficiency.

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