The Red Zone will make or break the New Orleans Saints in 2017

CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 17: Craig Robertson
CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 17: Craig Robertson /

There is one thing the New Orleans Saints need to improve on more than anything in 2017. It’s the all important Red Zone.

Unquestionably, this one category could be the factor in determining whether or not the Saints make the postseason or not. In 2016, the Saints were ranked 22nd in Opponent Red Zone scoring defense. 

In 2016, The Saints gave up touchdowns 57% of the time when teams got inside of their 20-yard line. Furthermore, the Saints were dead last at 67% in 2015. This has to change. The best way to throw away a well played game is in the RED ZONE. 

Coach John Harbaugh knows a bit about putting together some incredible defenses. He emphasizes the importance since he’s arrived at Baltimore.

"“I’m not sure why people are so enamored with yards. Yards are important and valuable, but they keep track of the points on the scoreboard. And you control most of the points in the red zone mostly. So we felt like if we can be great in the red zone, we’d have a chance to control the points. So we practice it every day. It’s something that’s an emphasis for us.”"

Harbaugh is known for having a very physical defense year after year. The Red Zone is can be the difference between winning and losing. The Saints have to find a way to take pride in defending this critical area on the field. Otherwise, the Saints will be playing comeback once again this year.

For this reason, discipline and knowing your assignment is a must inside the 20-yard line. The Saints are most likely gonna have a lot of young talent on the defensive side of the ball. As a consequence, the veterans will be looked at to help the young guys get situated when crunch times arrive.

Points are important. That being said, the Black and Gold can alleviate the pain a bit by just stiffening up on the defensive side when it counts. Coaches can’t be on the field up close. Decisions have to be made in seconds. This is why natural football instincts can be more important than talent alone. Mistakes are often magnified in the red zone. The red zone is where the players earn their money.