Best NFL players, teams, schemes on the goal line: Why Ezekiel Elliott, Zach Ertz excel inside the 5-yard line

If you can't convert on the goal line in the NFL you might as well pack up and go home. Punching in touchdowns from inside the 5-yard line is crucial -- you can't pass up those opportunities in today's offensive game.

So who are the best of the best at crossing the plane in the "tight red zone," and which teams are best equipped to find pay dirt from in close? And what play calls and schemes are most effective inside the 5-yard line? Forget the fade -- I want easy touchdowns.

We picked the top players, teams and schemes when it comes to converting those short, short-field downs.

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Players | Schemes | Teams


Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys

Elliott tied for the league lead last season with 10 rushing scores inside the 5-yard line. His successful carry rate in that range (based on expected points added, or EPA) was 55.6%, good for sixth overall in the NFL (min. 15 rushes).

Zeke's leg drive jumps on film. He can push through contact to reach the end zone. Vision and quick jump-cut ability are also plus qualities, allowing Elliott to find those small slices of daylight. And Elliott is a finisher -- a downhill back who runs with power behind his pads on both zone and power schemes. Given the consistent traits that lead to scoring production here, I see Elliott as the league's top runner in the tight red-zone area of the field.