More Than A Red Zone Fade
By FirstDown PlayBook on Nov 13, 2017

As we were watching a lot of college football this weekend it was pretty obvious that the favorite “go to” play once a team gets in the red zone is the fade throw. There is certainly great value in this football play especially if you have a 6’4 wide receiver matched up on a 5’11 corner but it got a little extreme this weekend.

There were fade throws being made to the wide side of the field with the wider hash marks and that ball was in the air a long time. In other situations the fade was called back to back and everyone including the defense understood what was coming. Wind, rain, it didn’t matter there were fades being called coast to coast.

It is accurate to say that it doesn’t matter if the defense knows or not when a fade is called because if the throw and route are executed perfectly there is not a lot that can be done to defend it. However, what is not accurate is to say is that this is an easy throw with the game on the line and particularly as the weather deteriorates across the country this time of year.

The field shrinks vertically in the red zone but it’s still 53 and a third yards horizontally and that allows you to keep all of your horizontal crossing routes. This includes the familiar rub or two that if executed correctly will have a receiver or two pop wide open in the end zone. These plays are often still effective against the pressure that normally shows up in the red zone.

So once again, we are not trying to rain on anyone’s parade if they have a quarterback and a tall receiver who have great chemistry on the fade ball but just suggesting that you don’t become so predictable that my mom is calling the play from her living room.


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