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Need to Know: Kirk Cousins' five best games

Need to Know: Kirk Cousins' five best games

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, June 1, 57 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 143 days ago. It will be 103 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 57; Preseason opener @ Falcons 72; Final roster cut to 53, 94

I’m enjoying a vacation week in the Outer Banks. While I’m gone I’m presenting a few of the most popular posts from earlier this offseason (Note: A few details may not be updated) as well as some posts looking back at some of the team’s best performances. Thanks for reading, see you again on Monday, June 6.

Kirk Cousins’ five best career games (by passer rating, minimum 20 attempts)

158.3 vs. Saints, 11.15.15: 20 comp./25 att/324 yards/4 TD/0 INT—The Redskins piled up stats that contributed to the Saints’ dubious distinction of being one of the worst pass defenses of all time. One of Cousins’ shortest throws led to the biggest gain of the day. He flipped a screen pass to Matt Jones, who rolled 78 yards for a touchdown.

153.7 vs. Bills, 12.20.15: 16/27/235/2/0—The Redskins took a 28-7 lead midway through the third quarter on Cousins’ 77-yard touchdown bomb to DeSean Jackson. The Bills rallied but Cousins put it away with a five-yard TD pass to Pierre Garçon early in the fourth.

128.1 vs. Bucs, 10.25.15: 33/40/317/3/0—You may remember this game for the rally from the 24-0 deficit, the biggest comeback in team history, and Cousins declaring “You like that!” on the way to the locker room. It almost makes you forget the 11-play, 80-yard touchdown drive for the winning score, a touchdown pass from Cousins to Jordan Reed with 24 seconds left.

120.3 @ Eagles, 12.26.15: 31/46/365/4/0—Reed caught Cousins touchdown passes of 12 and 23 yards in the first half to the Redskins into the lead. Cousins to Garçon for 13 yards and a TD clinched the game and the NFC East title for the Redskins.

114.4 vs. Giants, 11.29.15: 20/29/302/1/0—After failing to take advantage of two early takeaways in Giants territory, the Redskins struck quickly with a 63-yard touchdown pass from Cousins to Jackson. They rolled to a 20-0 lead in the fourth quarter but had to hold off a late Giants rally.

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast Episode 40 - Seriously, when will the Redskins pick a coordinator?

#RedskinsTalk Podcast Episode 40 - Seriously, when will the Redskins pick a coordinator?

As the Redskins settle into the offseason without both an offensive and defensive coordinator, JP Finlay and Rich Tandler debate who will get the jobs, and when they will be announced. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0: CORNERING THE MARKET

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Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Jason Tarver

Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Jason Tarver

The Redskins have interviewed some high-profile candidates for their open defensive coordinator position. When it was reported that they will meet with former Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver, the reaction among the fans was, “Who?”

Let’s take a look at what Tarver’s qualifications are to get the job of running the Redskins’ defense.

Before becoming a coordinator: At the age of 22, Tarver took a coaching job at West Valley College in California, and did that while earning his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Santa Clara. After that he was a graduate assistant at UCLA for three years before getting into the NFL in 2001, when the 49ers hired him as a quality control coach. Tarver worked his way up to outside linebackers coach in 2005 and did that job until 2010, when he was let go went Mike Singletary was fired as the head coach. After a year as the defensive coordinator at Stanford, Dennis Allen hired Tarver to run the Raiders defense in 2012.

More Redskins: Early first-round draft possibilities

Note: If you want more complete stats on Tarver’s defenses check out his page on Pro Football Reference. DVOA stats via Football Outsiders. A negative DVOA percentage is better than a positive number. Zero is average.

For players, * designates Pro Bowl selection, + designates first-team All-Pro

2012 Raiders (4-12)

Rankings: Yards 5,672 (18th), points 443 (28th), takeaways 19 (26th), 3rd down 39.1% (20th), DVOA 12.5% 29th
Notable players: DT Richard Seymour, DE Lamarr Houston

It should be noted that Allen had a defensive background so he had a hand in these numbers. This team just wasn’t very good as indicated by the fact that Seymour, at age 33, was one of their best defensive players.

2013 Raiders (4-12)

Rankings: Yards 5,918 (22nd), points 453 (29th), takeaways 22 (21st), 3rd down 43.1% (28th), DVOA 10.3% (26th)
Notable players: S Charles Woodson

They did make an effort to shore up the defense by bringing back Woodson and drafting cornerback D.J. Hayden in the first round. But Hayden only played in eight games and Woodson could only contribute so much at age 37. The pass defense struggled, ranking 29th in DVOA.

Related: Redskins offensive coordinator resume: Matt Cavanaugh

2014 Raiders (3-13)

Rankings: 5,721 (21st), points 452 (32nd), takeaways 14 (30th), 3rd down 38.5% (14th), DVOA 6.3% (26th)
Notable players: LB Khalil Mack, S Woodson

Allen was fired after an 0-4 start and Tony Sparano took over as interim head coach the rest of the way. Sparano has an offensive background so perhaps Tarver is more fully accountable for these results than those in other seasons. They did draft Mack with the fifth overall pick but his impact as a rookie was limited as recorded four sacks. Hayden again missed half of the season and, again, the defense was near the bottom of the NFL.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.