The red zone in football is a great spot to be in for the offense, but a spot to avoid for the defense. The red zone signifies the offensive team coming within 20 yards of a touchdown. Here is what the red zone is and how teams react to it.
What is the red zone in football?
The red zone in football is the area between the 20-yard-line and the goal line. Reaching this point signifies that the offensive team is within 20 yards of the goal line and very close to scoring.
- The red zone is between the 20-yard-line and the goal line.
- The term ‘red zone’ was invented by Joe Gibbs in 1982, but it was first recorded as a statistic by Dave Plati in 1980.
- The reed zone is recognized as red because it is a warning sign that the offense is close to scoring.
- While the red zone is not physically marked, many football broadcasts put up graphics to show viewers where the red zone is.
Where is the red zone?
The red zone is a 20-yard space between the 20-yard-line and the goal line. This area is on both sides of the field, but only significant if a team is in or near it. The red zone is always in the field goal range for college and NFL kickers.
Who invented it or coined the term?
The term ‘red zone’ was invented by Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs. He first mentioned it when a story with the Washington Post in 1982. Statistics guru Dave Plati is credited as the first one to track it as a statistic. Plati did this for the Denver Broncos, both offensive and defensive efficiency, in 1980.
Why is it called red zone?
It is called the red zone because it is seen as a warning sign for the defensive team. The red zone is recognized as a point where defenses need to tighten their defense and offenses need to score.
What is red zone defense?
Red zone defense is the term used for defenses tightening up their coverage, trying to prevent the offense from scoring a touchdown. Cornerbacks and safeties have the benefit of covering less space while wide receivers have the disadvantage of less space to work with, making it more difficult for offenses to move the ball.
Can you see this area on the field?
Some fields do create a red zone marker by painting a line on the field. The entire red zone is not physically marked. Similar to first down markers and field goal range, broadcasts may display a graphic across the field, usually in red, to show how close a team is to reach the red zone.
Can you leave the area?
Yes, teams can leave the red zone. This can happen by a team losing yardage through negative plays or through penalties. Once entering the red zone, defenses can still work to force teams backward. Offensive penalties in the red zone are among the most frustrating things in football.
Red Zone Action Video
What is the difference between the red zone and the green zone?
The green zone is the space between the line of scrimmage and the first down line. Two very different things, as the red zone is the line space from the 20-yard-line to the goal line.
Do teams always score in the red zone?
Teams often score a touchdown or field goal, but not always. Defenses still have the opportunity to force a turnover or the placekicker could miss the field goal.
Highest Red Zone Touchdown Percentage in the NFL in 2020
- Green Bay Packers- 76.81%
- Tennessee Titans- 74.24%
- Seattle Seahawks- 73.68%
- Cleveland Browns- 73.33%
- New Orleans Saints- 71.62%
The red zone is an exciting area of play at any level of football.
You are on our Red Zone Definition in Football page.
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