Red zone statistics are some of the most meaningful stats an offense can have.
If an offense isn't scoring when it gets to the red zone, or if it is turning the ball over once it gets there, it has very serious problems. Last season, the Cincinnati Bengals seemed to have relatively few issues once they reached the opposing 20-yard line.
Here's Tuesday's Bengals factoid: 73.3
For every trip into the red zone the Bengals had in 2013, 73.3 percent of the time they scored a touchdown. That percentage is referred to as red zone efficiency. Cincinnati's red zone efficiency was the second best in the league behind Denver, which converted scores from within 20 yards out at a blistering 76.1 percent clip. Those figures were much higher than normal. Typically, teams convert at less than 70 percent. The last team with a red zone efficiency of 72 percent or higher was the 2007 Saints, who finished 7-9.
Cincinnati had an 11-5 record and won the AFC North last season. Denver went 13-3 ahead of a Super Bowl appearance. The Bengals and Broncos were the only teams to have a red zone efficiency higher than 69 percent last year.
Maybe it's not too much a surprise the Broncos and Bengals paced the league in efficient red zone play. They also had the two-highest number of overall touchdowns last season. Denver reached the end zone 76 times, while Cincinnati did the same 54 times. On 67 of its red zone trips, Denver scored touchdowns 51 times. On 45 of their red zone trips, the Bengals scored 33 touchdowns.
Of those 33 red zone scores, 20 were the result of passes while 13 came on the tail end of runs. Only five times on their 45 drives in the red zone did the Bengals convert a field goal.
So what does all this show? It shows that for every other improvement offensive coordinator Hue Jackson is trying to bring his offense this year, he shouldn't have to change his scheme too dramatically when it comes to red zone play. The statistics reflect the Bengals not only showed an ability to score from the red area, but also had an urgency to do so. With a tall receiver like A.J. Green, and big tight ends who can get flexed out into space like Tyler Eifert and Jermaine Gresham, they have pass-catching playmakers who have earned defensive respect on that end of the field. Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, often diving forward behind defensive-tackle-turned-goal-line-fullback Domata Peko, gave the Bengals some physicality when running the ball in goal-line situations. Running back Giovani Bernard was and remains a threat to either run around the outside edge, between the tackles or to catch screens in space and pick up yards after the catch.
In short, the Bengals had and continue to have any number of places they can go to finish their red zone scores.
Their greatest red zone threat last season was receiver Marvin Jones, who caught nine touchdown passes of 20 yards or less last season. Green-Ellis wasn't far behind him, rushing for four red zone scores. Both are expected back this season.
Information from ESPN's Stats & Information was used in this report.