NFL 2023 – Red Zone QB Rankings & Statistics

NFL 2023 – Red Zone Player Rankings & Statistics For QBs WRs TEs & RBs

In this article we will look at Red Zone production by QBs, receivers and rushers.  This means in receiving we will have a mix of WRs, TEs & RBs depending on red zone usage, and a mixture of RB’s, QBs in rushing.

For QBs & Receiving Red Zone stats we will break it down to inside the 10, 10-20 yards, and inside 20 segments.  For Rushing, the segments will be 0-5yards, 5-10 yards, 10-20 yards, inside 20 yards.  Thus a bit more detail on rushing stats as they are more productive inside the 5.

Let’s start with everyone’s favorite position, quarterback red zone production.

QB Red Zone Rankings & Statistics

NFL 2023 - Red Zone QB Rankings & Statistics
NFL 2023 – Red Zone QB Rankings & Statistics – Sorted by ATTEMPTS

Interpreting the QB Red Zone Stats

So let’s take a look at Dak Prescott’s stats and use them as an example of how to interpret what the stats are saying.

Prescott’s 80 attempts are 15 more than 2nd place Mahomes & Love(65).  This explains his high amount of yards and TDs while being fairly average in TD% and yards per metrics.

Prescott is much better from between the 10-20 than he is inside the 10 where his metrics are quite middling.  Both his interceptions came inside the 10 yard line, and his TD% and Yards per metrics are actually in the red.  There is also the 47% completion rate so he is throwing a lot of balls away or having drops or off target throws.

From between the 10-20 yard line, almost every metric is solidly green.  The extra space must be a benefit to both Prescott and his receivers as they are much more efficient outside the 10 yard line as opposed to inside of it.

Russell Wilson and Josh Allen both show this similar trend of being more dangerous between the 10 – 20 yard line than when inside the 10.  While their stats in the inside the 20 and 10-20 yard segments are good, their metrics fall off once you look at the inside the 10 yard line stats.

Compare  Prescott’s stat line to those of Baker Mayfield and Sam Howell.  Across the lines of Mayfield and Howell we see them struggling in all the red zone segments.  Stroud and Tagovioloa each have 1 less attempt than Mayfield and Howell but 3 more TDs.  That is what red zone efficiency can mean in real points scored or lost when it comes to the quarterback position.

QB Inside & Outside Red Zone Rankings & Statistics

NFL 2023 - QB rankings inside outside Red Zone
NFL 2023 – QB rankings inside outside Red Zone – Sorted by PASSING YARDS

Comparing Inside & Outside Red Zone QB Production

This chart above shows a great example of young talented quarterbacks who can fling it all over the field but who struggle in the Red Zone.  Stroud & Howell lead the league in Passing Yards and most of their outside the Red Zone metrics are all green.  But as soon as you look over at the Red Zne area of the stats, you start to see red in key metrics.  Brock Purdy seems to be the one young QB not to be struggling in the Red Zone.

The chart also shows the lack of deep passing threats for certain teams and QBs.  Mahomes has only 3 TDs from outside the 20 yard line compared to 19 in the Red Zone.  Lamar Jackson, Geno Smith, and Derek Carr all have 3 or less TDs from outside the 20 yard line.

In contrast,  Jared Goff & Tua have 11 TDs from outside the 20, while Purdy has 9.  In the red zone, Prescott & Mahomes lead with 19, followed by Allen, Love, & Wilson tied at 17.  Love’s 3 interceptions inside the 10 lead the league(tied with Cousins).

It is interesting that while bad quarterbacks are bad both inside and outside the Red Zone, quarterbacks who are good outside the red zone can be quite bad inside of it.  And the reverse is rarely true.  Joe Burrow is about the only QB whos stats are poor outside the 20 but good inside the Red Zone.

Red Zone Receiving Rankings & Statistics

NFL 2023 - Red Zone Receiving Rankings & Statistics
NFL 2023 – Red Zone Receiving Rankings & Statistics – sorted by RED ZONE TARGETS


What is amazing about the chart about for Red Zone Receiving is that the #1 & #2 players for Red Zone Targets are teammates; CeeDee Lamb & Jake Ferguson (a good trivia question for your NFL loving friend).

Michael Pittman & Davante Adams are catching red zone balls but coming up short on TDs. Pittman, with 102 red zone receiving yards on 14 catches, has a mere 2 TDs to show for it.

We can see Tyreek Hill is doing most of his damage from outside the red zone. Courtland Sutton is dominating inside the red zone with 8 TDs; 2 more than anyone else.

Chris Godwin & DeAndre Hopkins are both really struggling with red zone production this year.  Tony Pollard has 10 catches inside the 20, yet has zero TDs to show for it.

Much like Quarterbacks, very good receivers can seemingly struggle inside the 10 yard line.  Many times these receivers will have excellent 10-20 yard line stats, and overall stats, but the lack of space inside the opposing 10 yard line seems to hamper certain wide receivers, at least in 2023.  This very likely could be a statistic that waivers year to year for each receiver, and all we are seeing is the guys who are having good or bad 2023 season.

Unlike Quarterbacks, it does appear that receivers with poor metrics overall, can be quite good, or efficient, inside the 10 yard line and Red Zone.  Normally a bad QB was also bad in the Red Zone, but with receivers, certain skill sets become more desireable in the Red Zone where top end speed is not overly useful.  The athletic, coordinated, and the big bodied can excel in the red zone, while sometimes struggling overall.

Red Zone Rushing Rankings & Statistics

NFL 2023 - Red Zone Rushing Rankings & Statistics
NFL 2023 – Red Zone Rushing Rankings & Statistics

The Touchdown Machines

Certain players just have a knack for getting into the endzone.  The best place to see this is in the Red Zone rushing statistics.  Again you are going to see a huge amount of good to very good running backs who are great for 80 yards of the field, who then really struggle inside the Red Zone, particularly inside the 5 and 10 yard lines.  This is where the vultures like Gus Edwards make their money.

  • McCaffrey 13 attempts inside the 5 yard line, 8 TDs.
  • Hurts 13 attempts inside the 5 yard line, 10 TDs.
  • Mostert 11 attempts inside the 5 yard line, 8 TDs
  • Gus Edwards 12 attempts inside the 5 yard line, 9 TDs

The other side of the coin:

  • Pollard 10 attempts, 2 TDs
  • Mixon 9 attempts, 3 TDs
  • Swift 8 attempts, 2 TDs
  • Dillon 5 attempts, 0 TDs

Now for some really fun stats that you can fool all your friends with:

Quick, name the top 3 players for rushing TDs from between the 5 – 10 yard line!

Did you guess three quarterbacks?

Lamar Jackson 4, Josh Allen 3, Desmond Ridder 3.  No other player has more than 2.

Ok bit of a trick question, so name the player with the most TDs from 10 – 20 yards out.

Did you guess a quarterback?

Josh Allen leads the league with 3 rushing TDs from between 10 – 20 yards out.  No other player has more than 2.

Overall Red Zone rushing TD leaders are Hurts (12), McCaffery(11) & Mostert(11), Gus Edwards(10), & Josh Allen(9).

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