Key to the Super Bowl lies in the red zone

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The Super Bowl is just days away and coming fast. The Seattle Seahawks boast the number one defense in the league and for the Patriots to score touchdowns in the red zone against this defense will be their biggest challenge yet. The Seahawks hardly let their opponents get into the red zone as it is, but when the Patriots do, scoring touchdowns instead of field goals will ensure a better outcome for them than it was for Green Bay.

In a lot of ways Green Bay showed a formula to beat the Seahawks; they just didn’t execute it for 60 minutes. They had a good game-plan against Russell Wilson and the option offense and they were able to hold Wilson to just 50% completions and 50% on third downs with a defense that isn’t as good as New England’s. Green Bay also made it to the red zone 3 times, but only came away with one score and that’s where the Patriots need to be better.

In Seattle’s losses during the regular season, their opponents were 80% in the red zone scoring on 12 of 15 attempts. In the Seattle wins, their opponents combined for 10 scores in 22 attempts or just 45%. The sweet spot to find yourself on the winning side of the Super Bowl battle is right around 70% for New England. Anything less than that has proven to result in a loss against the number one scoring defense in the league (15.9 PPG).

Seattle’s defense was by far the best in the red zone in 2014 and that is just another hurdle for the Patriots to overcome. The second best in that category was the Kansas City Chiefs that had their way with New England in week 4. A lot has changed since week four and the Patriots have the best red zone target in the NFL in Rob Gronkowski.

Tom Brady is probably the most accurate quarterback in the NFL, which bodes well for the Patriots in the red zone. In a lot of ways, the Seahawks haven’t really faced a duo like Brady and Gronkowski just as the Patriots haven’t faced a red zone defense as good as Seattle.

Just another fascinating matchup to watch on this Super Bowl Sunday.


Categories: Articles, Patriots

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