A closer look at red zone issues

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Red zone production and defense is a crucial element to any NFL game. But there are some particularly intriguing numbers connected to the Ravens-Titans matchup.

According to the Elias Sport Bureau, one of the key matchups in this game will be how the Titans' efficient red zone offense performs against the Ravens' stingy red zone defense.

Tennessee scored a touchdown on over 60 percent of its red zone possessions, averaging over five points per possession inside the 20 -- both near the top of the league.

The Baltimore defense kept opponents out of the end zone on nearly two-thirds of their red zone possessions, yielding 3.7 points per red zone possession.

While the Titans' strong running game definitely contributes to their red zone success, don't underestimate the impact of quarterback Kerry Collins as the Titans approach the end zone. My friends at ESPN Stats & Information point out that eight of Collins' 12 touchdown passes this season (and none of his interceptions) have come inside the opponents' 20-yard line, giving him a red zone passer rating of 110.6, second-highest in the NFL this season.