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The NFC West in the Red Zone

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This post is sponsored by Comcast and their NFL RedZone channel.  If you want to see every touchdown from every NFL game as it happens as well as live look-ins to all of Sunday's games in key situations hurry up and get yourself Comcast's NFL RedZone Channel.

Given that the 49ers are coming off a bye week, there's no previous week's game to look at.  Given that, I thought I'd use this post to take a look at the NFC West's performances on offense and defense in the red zone.  All rankings are based on Football Outsiders stats.  They rank teams by zone starting deep on their own side of the field and progressing all the way to goal to go situations.  I realize plenty of folks are not big fans of FO.  However, I will say that for some reason I can't find a lot of cumulative red zone statistical information.  The closest I could find was at USA Today, where they have a red zone breakdown.  The problem is all it provides is "touchdown average."  Obviously the goal is to score touchdowns, but that really doesn't tell a complete story.  FO isn't providing the complete story either, but I feel it's providing a bit more.  At the same time USA Today's database does provide some useful info we can use from time to time (like total red zone possessions).

I've posted the stats and some analysis after the jump to save some front page space...


Team RZ Total RZ Pass RZ Rush
San Francisco 9th 9th 17th
Arizona 18th 16th 19th
Seattle 20th 18th 16th
St. Louis 28th 21th 30th



Team RZ Total RZ Pass RZ Rush
San Francisco 16th 4th 31st
Arizona 18th 24th 8th
Seattle 5th 5th 22nd
St. Louis 15th 11th 19th


One set of red zone rankings I find interesting is San Francisco's defense as compared to Seattle's defense.  Last week we briefly discussed the drastic differences in the 49ers red zone pass defense versus their red zone rush defense.  Seattle has a similar, if slightly less drastic disparity, and yet they jump in the rankings for total red one defense.  The reason for the defense is how big a difference there is between 22nd and 31st in red zone rushing defense.  However, given the loss of Lofa Tatupu, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Seahawks rushing defense to drop a bit in the rankings.  They'll certainly make adjustments, but missing Tatupu definitely hurts.

I find it interesting that the Rams actually have managed a decent red zone defense.  It's especially interesting because their opponents have been in the red zone quite a bit.  Being ranked 15th in red zone defense isn't spectacular, but given how awful the Rams have been, that's certainly something to hang their hat on.