Red zone will be 'highlighted emphasis' this week

Ryan Wood
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The Green Bay Packers have been a top 10 offense inside the red zone all season, so they weren't about to panic.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) runs with the ball against the New England Patriots during Sunday's game at Lambeau Field.

Yes, the Packers' four trips to the red zone Sunday without a touchdown were troubling. Over and over, Green Bay marched down the field against the New England Patriots, only to fizzle out inside the 20-yard line.

There were negative plays, dropped passes, even a missed field goal.

"We moved the ball pretty efficiently all day," quarterback Aaron Rodgers said after the game. "Just kind of stalled in the red zone a little bit. Both our touchdowns came from out of the red zone. We had some field goals down there, missed a field goal, but we have to do a little better job. Had some opportunities to get seven there.

"When you're playing a good team, you're fortunate to win when you're probably 0-for-4 in the red zone."

Green Bay dropped out of the top 10 – down to No. 11 – in red zone efficiency after going 0-for-4 against New England. The Packers' finished with three field goals in their four trips. A couple touchdowns, and a 5-point win might have turned into a blowout.

New England's defense was stingy inside the 20-yard line, but that hasn't been the norm this season. The Patriots entered Sunday ranked 21st in red zone defense. After Sunday, they shot up to No. 11.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy credited the Patriots for playing well with their backs pressed against the goal line. He also said his team has plenty to improve.

"Just things that we can control," McCarthy said. "It really comes down to execution, and give the New England Patriots' red zone defense credit. They kept us out of the end zone. We'll practice red zone and it will definitely be a highlighted emphasis this week." and follow him on Twitter @ByRyanWood

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