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The Final Countdown: Cravens diving interception launches Redskins 4-game win streak

The Final Countdown: Cravens diving interception launches Redskins 4-game win streak

As should be expected when a team goes 8-7-1, there were plenty of good moments and a lot of frustrating times during the Redskins’ 2016 season. Over the next couple of weeks, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will take detailed looks at the 10 best plays of 2016 and at the 10 worst.

No. 1 best play of 2016

Redskins at Giants Week 3

1:09 left in Q4, Giants ball at their own 39, 1st and 10, Redskins leading 29-27

Eli Manning pass short middle intended for Shane Vereen INTERCEPTED by Su’a Cravens at NYG 43. Cravens to NYG 41 for 2 yards (Vereen)

Related: NFL Mock Draft 2.0

Tandler: The Redskins got the lead on a Dustin Hopkins field goal with 1:55 left but a two-point lead with Eli Manning at QB and just a field goal needed for the win was highly precarious. It looked like the Giants were on their way after Manning converted a third and 14 with a pass to Victor Cruz. On the next play, Manning threw a pass towards Shane Vereen, who briefly appeared to have separation on Cravens. But the rookie lunged for the ball and made the diving interception to save the win. The win prevented an 0-3 start for the Redskins and sparked a four-game winning streak that got them into playoff contention.

More Redskins: Defense with the top pick?

Finlay: The Redskins defense was largely abused against the Giants in Week 3, as the unit gave up more than 450 yards of total offense to Eli Manning and his crew. When the New York quarterback got the ball only needing a field goal to win and plenty of time on the clock, a Redskins fan would be lying if they said they expected Washington to get a needed stop. Combine that with the pressure of an 0-2 start, and Cravens diving interception was a monumentous play for the 'Skins. That game, and that play, launched the 'Skins on a four-game win streak and changed the course of their season. That locker room after the game was one of the most ebullient of the year, as the team knew disaster at 0-3 was averted. After the game Cravens talked me through the play, saying 'as soon as he threw it I knew I was grabbing it.'

10 best plays countdown

10 worst plays countdown

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If Luke Kuechly wants to coach, would Ron Rivera hire him for the Redskins?

If Luke Kuechly wants to coach, would Ron Rivera hire him for the Redskins?

One of the best linebackers of the last decade, Luke Kuechly retired from football this week in a move that stunned many. For years Kuechly has dealt with injuries, including multiple concussions, and decided his body could not withstand anymore life in the NFL. 

Or at least being on the field. 

A new NFL Network report suggested that Kuechly could be looking to stay in the game in a coaching or consulting role, and that it could happen this season. 

"I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Luke Kuechly in the NFL. As a player we have," Mike Garafolo said on Good Morning Football.

The natural question for Redskins fans becomes if Kuechly could land in Washington. New Redskins coach Ron Rivera was with the Panthers when the team drafted Kuechly ninth overall in 2012, and the duo worked closely together. It's been widely reported that Kuechly and Rivera have a strong relationship too. 

When Kuechly announced his retirement, Rivera took to Twitter to compare the linebacker to Hall of Famers Mike Singletary and Brian Urlacher. Rivera also said he "will remember Luke’s sense of humor, his leadership & 4 being a great teammate."

The Redskins recently announced their assistant coaches and linebackers coach Steve Russ worked with Kuechly for the past two seasons in Carolina. There is no assistant linebackers coach on the staff, but that's a role that could be created. There are few rules about assistant coaches in the NFL; for example, last season the Redskins employed an inside linebackers coach and an outside linebackers coach because they played a 3-4 system. This year the team will play the 4-3. 

It's unclear what role Kuechly would want, and while the connection to Rivera is obvious, so is the connection to Carolina. 

"Certainly the Panthers would love to have him be a part of their organization in some capacity," Garafolo said. 

What happens next for Kuechly remains unknown. He just retired from football a few days ago. He might need time to make his next series of decisions. 

Based on Rivera's actions so far as the new Redskins boss, however, it would not be a surprise at all if the head coach tries to get Kuechly to Washington. Rivera has hired just about everyone else that was with the Panthers in the last decade; why not add one more?

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Jason Garrett reportedly to stay in NFC East, becomes Giants offensive coordinator

Jason Garrett reportedly to stay in NFC East, becomes Giants offensive coordinator

Former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett has agreed to become the new offensive coordinator of the New York Giants, according to a report from ESPN

He will join the staff of first-year head coach Joe Judge.

Garrett was recently let go after a 10-year unimpressive stint with the Dallas Cowboys. In that span, he only led the team to three playoff appearances and with that two playoff wins. 

The team underperformed in 2019 after starting the season with Super Bowl aspirations. Stumbling to an 8-8 record, It became clear that Garrett was the not the answer at head coach. Following the end of the regular season, the team decided to go in another direction replacing him with former Packers coach Mike McCarthy.

The Princeton alum led the Cowboys to an 85-67 overall record during his tenure in Dallas.

As a former backup QB for the Giants (2000-03) and Cowboys (1993-99), he has an extensive background in game-planning against the NFC East.

Judge was named head coach on Jan. 7 after spending eight seasons with the Patriots. He was promoted to special teams coordinator in 2015, and also became the team's wide receiver coach in 2019.

Garrett and Judge will be tasked with developing a young roster with some intriguing options at their disposal, as well as the No. 4 overall pick in April's draft.

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