ESPN: The Red Zone Efficiency Myth
This week's MNF feature looks at the question of red-zone efficiency, where the Kansas City Chiefs are one of the best offenses in the league, and the San Diego Chargers are one of the worst defenses. But does that really mean anything? We've already done research showing that there's very little correlation from year to year in the difference between overall efficiency and red-zone efficiency. Is the same true in season? Trends from the last five seasons suggests it is.
That means the idea of "red-zone efficiency" is essentially a myth. What matters is simply how good an offense or defense is overall. This has some interesting ramifications we'll need to explore in the coming months. Does this mean there's no point in comparing each team's red-zone efficiency when looking at who might win a single game? Would it make sense to change DVOA so that red-zone plays no longer are more important than other players? I also need to analyze drive chart stats to see if the more traditional definition of "red-zone efficiency" (i.e. touchdowns per drive) is more consistent from year to year, or from first half of the season to second half of the season, than red-zone DVOA is. All this is worth exploring.