But good news! The actual NFL red zone is a place on the field that everyone can see!
So, what is the red zone?
The red zone is the 20-yards prior to the opposing team’s end zone. (Need a refresher on end zones? Check out this post.) It’s called the red zone because it’s supposed to put you on high alert that scoring opportunities are ripe for the taking. The red zone is not actually red, which you already know, but here’s a visual to work with:
Ok, so in this “rustic” visual, the team on offense is on the other team’s 15-yard line. That means they are approaching their end zone and are in scoring range. See how close they are to the end zone? In the red zone – anywhere within 20-yards of the opposing team’s end zone – they can reasonably score, either by field goal or touchdown.
There’s nothing significant or specific that happens when a team enters the red zone. It’s not like they earn any special privileges. The just the name for a section of the field, same as “end zone” or “side lines.”