Red Zone To Dead Zone

mccarthy-and-play-sheet-color-rush

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) –  If The Packers are going to go toe-to-toe with the Falcons top scoring offense on Sunday, they need to get things fixed inside the red zone.  The Packers currently have just 13 touchdowns on 25 trips inside the opponents’ 20-yard line.

“The first thing is our opportunities are high; the first thing is you got to get down there, so we are accomplishing that” said Head Coach Mike Mccarthy.  “Just looking at the details of what we’re doing, how we’re doing, we could do a better job.”

That is a bit of an understatement.  The Packers rank just 17th in the league in scoring touchdowns inside the red zone.  But they really have taken a dive in the last 3 games; just 5 touchdowns on 13 trips, or 38%.  That won’t cut it this week against the Falcons; who while ranking 18th in the league in red zone efficiency, have scored an NFL best 32.7 points per game.

“We trust our defense to do their job. But they get paid on both sides of the ball, so we know we have to be efficient and score points, especially in the red zone” said Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.  “We have not been scoring touchdowns as often as we need to. In a game where you have Matt playing so well, and Julio having a big season, you have to expect them to make some plays. so we are going to have to score some points.”

“You never know what happens with the flow of the game, but we expect our defense to hold them to a low number of points” added receiver Randall Cobb.  “But we still expect ourselves to put touchdowns on the board whenever we have those drives.”

Coach McCarthy claims the changing personnel due to injuries the last 3 weeks is a separate issue.  A bigger issue might be lack of production from the tight ends.  With Jared Cook out, Richard Rodgers has just 9 receptions in 6 games, and 1 red zone TD.  7 of his team high 8 receiving touchdowns last year came from inside the 20.