Kansas City Makes The Red Zone Look Easy

By FirstDown PlayBook on Feb 14, 2023
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Much has been made of the masterful way the Kansas City offensive staff exposed the Eagles red zone coverage in the Super Bowl and rightfully so. As we have highlighted many times here, the red zone can be a difficult place to be productive on offense.

The reason is simple and obvious. The offense does not have enough real estate to work with to create vertical separation. Red zone separation has to be created horizontally across the 53 and a third field. The only other way to create separation is with the height of your receivers vs the height of the DB’s.

Of course most offensive line coaches would claim, “Why not just run the football in for a TD?”. Often times they would be correct. There was an element of this with the fourth quarter Chiefs’ TD. Yes, the Chiefs exposed the safety rock and roll coverage by the Eagles. There is no question that Kansas City had this schemed up well.

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We would argue that the Kansas City offense is so complete that it makes the defense play short handed in the red zone what ever they play. There are so many weapons. Prior to the play that you are watching they had just run a jet sweep. You can see from the play diagram that the handoff doesn’t look half bad as a run play. Also even though he was still hobbled, are you dismissing the chance Mahomes might run a read option in the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl?

This Is A Great Example Of Why Defensive Coordinators Bring Red Zone Pressure

Our point is that it’s easy to look at tape and explain what just happened. It is much harder to call a sound defense and execute it against a precision offense. This is why many defensive coordinators say “Screw it. I’m not sitting back and waiting for something to happen. We are bringing pressure and making something happen.”

So before everyone becomes the lates greatest guru on how to expose a defense in the red zone remember this. This play was open (and others like it) because the Eagles had to defend everything. They could not get out leveraged if the the receiver had crossed the formation either like the Packers did this a few years ago. They had to have a plan vs the hitch screen if the formation went to 3×1 and on and on and on…

Super Bowl Rosters Are Full Of Players Who Got Here This Way

The one thing we do know is that there are good coaches in the NFL, The Eagles will not make it through training camp without having this issue cleaned up in the back end. For now that does not matter. It’s congratulations to the champions and a master piece of red zone work! If you are the only person on the planet who has not seen this play yet click on the drawing below to see it.

Charlie Coiner is the Founder of FirstDown PlayBook