The Falcons are struggling inside their opponents’ 20-yard line.
They entered Week 5 leading the NFL with 18 red-zone trips. But they’ve scored only seven touchdowns (38.5 percent), which ranked 28th in the league.
“When your production isn’t where it needs to be you assess everything,” quarterback Matt Ryan said. “(Offensive coordinator) Dirk (Koetter) and I have talked a lot about that, week in and week out, trying to put ourselves in the best positions when we are on the field. I’ve got a lot of trust in what he does, and I think he has a lot of trust in what we as players do.”
Defenses are not honoring the Falcons’ rushing attack and are committing extra defenders to bracket receivers, especially tight end Tony Gonzalez.
Running back Jason Snelling has the lone rushing touchdown in the red zone this season, an 11-yard run against the Rams.
Ryan doesn’t believe that simply running the ball more will improve the red-zone numbers.
“Sometimes the situation of games dictate whether or not if you can run the ball,” Ryan said. “In three of the red-zone drives that we’ve had this year. …they’ve been end-of-games situations where we haven’t had the luxury to be able to run it. I think we’ve actually run it fairly effectively when we’ve been down there.”
Here are the red-zone touchdowns this season:
- Julio Jones, 4-yard reception vs. New Orleans
- Gonzalez, 7-yard reception vs. New Orleans
- Snelling, 11-yard run vs. St. Louis
- Steven Jackson, 8-yard reception vs. St. Louis
- Levine Toilolo, 2-yard reception vs. Miami
- Snelling, 7-yard reception vs. Miami
- Gonzalez, 11-yard reception vs. New England