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NFL Oakland Raiders

Too many red zone woes for Oakland Raiders offense

Ed Szczepanski- USA TODAY Sports

When you drive inside your opponents 20-yard line, you have to score some points. If you’re lucky you score a touchdown more than half the time you get into the red zone.

The Oakland Raiders do not fall into this category, ranking 31st in the NFL in red zone touchdown scoring percentage. This season the Raiders have scored a touchdown on roughly 40 percent of their red zone attempts this season, the only team that’s worse- Sunday’s opponent the Kansas City Chiefs. Oakland’s issues in the red zone is one of the major reasons the team hasn’t won the close games this season.

Sunday’s game with the Chiefs highlighted the Raiders’ ineptitude in the red zone. Oakland got to the red zone twice and did not score a touchdown, settling for a 20 and 30-yard field goal from Sebastian Janikowski. Ignoring the fact Oakland should have gotten to the red zone more than twice in that game, the issue with the Raiders is the offense stalled when the field got tighter. The Raiders only gained one yard on the four plays starting inside the 20.

Janikowski has been the savior of this team this year. The kicker has nailed 18 field goals from less than 40 yards away, the third most in his 13-year career. He leads the team in points with 109, by far the most of any player, but by far more impressive is his kicking percentage, which sits at a career-high 90.6 percent.

It falls upon Carson Palmer to find a way for the Raiders to punch the ball into the end zone more than 40 percent of the time from the red zone. Oakland has one of the best running backs in the league and a couple of big passi