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Davis’ mea culpa

Davis’ mea culpa

Fred Davis returned to Redskins Park on Tuesday and apologized publicly for oversleeping and missing the third and final day of the team's minicamp earlier this month.

"I want to start by apologizing to [Redskins owner Dan] Snyder, Coach [Jim] Zorn, the players for making a minor mistake, just not waking up on time, something that was irresponsible of me," said Davis, whom the Redskins drafted in the second round out of USC. "I can't believe I did that. I overslept. I felt really bad. It's something that won't happen again ever."

I've said that I thought that too big a deal was made about this in the media—the incident was discussed and written about ad nauseum for the entire following week. He didn't drive drunk, he didn't make it rain, he overslept.

He also denied that he was out in downtown Washington that Saturday night as was rumored at the time.

"I didn't even go out," Davis said. "I was at the hotel the whole night. Just being on my own, it was probably a mistake on my part."

At the risk of being hypocritical by making something out of what Davis said about what I said was an overblown incident, something in his statements bothered me.

Oversleeping and missing an NFL minicamp practice is not "probably" a mistake, it's not a "minor mistake", it's a Class A, big-time, screw up. A high-school type mistake. A calling consecutive timeouts when you should know that doing so will result in a penalty kind of mistake.

Just because the media shouldn't go on about it for a week doesn't mean that Davis didn't commit a doozie. A biggie. Nothing probable or minor about it.

I don't necessarily expect Davis to come crawling on his hands and knees begging for mercy or anything like that. And, at this point, I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he knows that he messed up in a major, major way.

At least he didn't say something like, "I'm sorry that this happened" and distance himself from the responsibility for the happening.

As a star athlete in high school and at a high-profile university like USC, Davis wasn't asked to apologize for much of anything. I'll forgive him if his skills in doing so aren't very polished.

Still, his take is something to file away to see what happens if he should be called upon to apologize for something again.

Hopefully, that won't happen any time soon.

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Goal to go situations another problem area for Redskins' defense

Goal to go situations another problem area for Redskins' defense

In the third quarter of the Redskins’ Week 3 game against the Giants, New York drove to a first and goal at the Washington 10. A Trent Murphy sack and two incompletions later, Josh Brown came in and kicked a field goal.

Since then, opponents have had goal to go situations 12 times. They have scored touchdowns on every one of them.

The stop against the Giants was one of just two all year. They had one against the Cowboys in Week 2. Their opponents’ goal to go success rate is 90.5 percent. That’s the second worst in the NFL.

The failures have been costly. On Sunday, the Cardinals recovered a Kirk Cousins fumble and returned it to the Washington 10. The Redskins led 13-10 at the time and coming out of that situation with the game tied would have been large. But on third and goal at the six Carson Palmer hit Michael Floyd with a touchdown pass and the Cardinals had both the lead and the momentum.

Opponents usually haven’t had to work that hard. Teams have run 21 plays in goal to go and they have 10 touchdowns.

On Thanksgiving Day, the Cowboys got to goal to go three times. A stop on any one of them would have been a boost to the Redskins and would have changed the dynamic of the game. But Dallas was three for three.

The goal to go problems are a subset of the Redskins’ problems with red zone defense in general. Opponents have scored touchdowns on 27 of 40 red zone trips, a 67.5 percent success rate that puts the Redskins 30th in the NFL.  

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NFC East Update - Where everybody is losing except the Cowboys

NFC East Update - Where everybody is losing except the Cowboys

The NFC East was a beast for a while, but in recent weeks, the division is fading. All the teams outside of Dallas lost this weekend, and losing streaks are popping up throughout the I-95 Corridor. Here's the NFC East update:

  1. The Minnesota Vikings gave the Dallas Cowboys all they could handle last Thursday night, and yet, the Cowboys won 17-15. Dak Prescott was not impressive in Minneapolis, but Ezekiel Elliott was and the Cowboys defense did just enough to slow the Vikings terrible offense. At 11-1, Dallas has clinched a playoff berth, and with a date in New York this Sunday night, Jerry Jones' crew has a chance to avenge their only loss of the year, which came in Week 1 to the Giants.
  2. It seemed expectations met reality for the New York Giants last Sunday in Pittsburgh. Ben McAdoo's team had won six games in a row, but largely, faced poor competition. In their first tough test since the leaves started falling, Eli Manning's offense could not get going and the Giants fell to 8-4, still in possession of the first NFC Wild Card spot. Even on their win streak, the Giants didn't pass many eye tests. Beat Dallas on Sunday night and all that changes.
  3. Two weeks ago the Washington Redskins were one of the hottest teams in the NFL. Winners of two straight and with a surging Kirk Cousins, the Redskins marched to Dallas on Thanksgiving and gave the Cowboys a real test. Despite the loss, Washington still held its spot with the second NFC Wild Card. After a deflating loss in Arizona, now the 'Skins are on the outside looking in of the playoffs. Good news for Jay Gruden and company: The team can get right back in the thick of things this week in Philly, and the remaining four-game schedule looks advantageous. 
  4. While the Redskins have lost two in a row and are in danger of falling out of the playoff race, the Philadelphia Eagles have lost three in a row and look to be falling apart. Rookie QB Carson Wentz is devoid of offensive weapons to work with and the Eagles have been outscored 85-42 in their last three games. Philly can get their first NFC East win this week with the 'Skins visiting, but it will take a different effort than they've shown in the last month.

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