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The Road Ahead

The Road Ahead

Yes, I know you're not supposed to look ahead, play 'em one at a time, focus on the task at hand. But I'm not playing this Sunday and so far Joe Gibbs has not responded to my offer to help with the game plan. So I think that no damage will be done if I take a peek ahead at the Redskins' possibilities for who they will meet in the playoffs and when they will play.

The only spot the Redskins can get is the six seed. The Giants have wrapped up the other Wild Card spot and they have 10 wins and the most the Skins can finish up with is nine.

That means that if anyone offers to sell you tickets for a Redskins home playoff game, do not buy them. They can't host a playoff game no matter what. The higher seed gets home field and the Redskins can't be the higher seen in any game since they are the lowest seed.

Should the Redskins qualify, they will play at the three seed. Seattle has locked up that spot, so we would have a rematch of sorts of the 2005 season playoffs when the Skins gave the Seahawks some problems before bowing.

When would that game be played? There are four slots for the Wild Card round. NBC gets a Saturday doubleheader, one AFC game and one NFC game, with time slots at 4:30 PM and 8:00 PM Eastern. Fox and CBS each get a Sunday game, one at 1:00 PM, the other at 4:30. Out of the four time slots the only one that the Skins-Hawks couldn't play in is the Sunday 1:00 since it would be 10 AM in Seattle. The guess here is that NBC, having carried the Redskins the last two weeks, will ask for and get the New York market for its NFC game, which would put the Redskins into the late Sunday game.

If they win that one it would be on to Dallas. There is no March Madness-style bracket in the NFL playoffs. The highest remaining seed plays the lowest remaining seed. The Cowboys are the top seed and a surviving Redskin team would be the lowest remaining.

The Divisional round is January 12 & 13. On Saturday, Fox has a 4:30 game and CBS has the prime time 8:00 spot. On Sunday the games are at 1:00 and 4:30 and either network could get either slot. The preference is to give the top seed a Saturday game to give them the slight advantage of an extra day of rest before the conference title game, so that 4:30 on January 12 seems to be the likely landing spot for this game. Since the other NFC game will be in Green Bay there is no West Coast consideration so a possible Skins-Cowboys rematch could be in either time slot on Sunday.

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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.

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Award Tour: JP & Tandler select Redskins Offensive Player of the Year

Award Tour: JP & Tandler select Redskins Offensive Player of the Year

With the 2017 offseason about to kick into high gear, Redskins Insiders JP Finlay and Rich Tandler are going to take one last look at 2016 in the coming days. That’s right, it’s time to hand out awards for Coach of the Year, Special Teams Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year.

We’ve picked our top coaches and the Special Teams. and defensive POY’s. Today we select the Offensive Player of the Year.

Tandler: I don’t see any need to overthink this. The Redskins set a team record for total offensive yards in a season and it was mostly due to the play of Kirk Cousins. He shattered his own team records in nearly every major passing stat. He was a steady hand as the line underwent some turmoil with the suspension of Trent Williams and injury situations. His primary running backs were a fumble-prone second-year player and an undrafted rookie. The team’s best pass catcher, tight end Jordan Reed, missed four games with injuries and he was obviously hampered by a shoulder injury in a few others. Cousins did slump towards the end of the season and the interception he threw late in the season finale killed off the Redskins’ playoff chances. But he was the one primarily responsible for the team posting winning record in consecutive seasons for the first time in nearly 20 years.

More Redskins: Early first-round draft possibilities

Finlay: I kinda wanted to overthink this but Tandler yelled at me. DeSean Jackson was arguably the Redskins best threat, and Pierre Garçon was the most dependable player on the team. Jordan Reed showed how great he can be, but injuries limited his performance. In the end, the award goes to Kirk Cousins. It has to. The guy nearly threw for 5,000 yards and he broke his own passing record that he set last season. What happens before the March 1 franchise deadline not withstanding, Cousins was the 'Skins best offensive player in 2016.

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