With the 2016 offseason about to kick into high gear, Redskins reporters Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler are going to take one last look at 2015 in the coming days. That’s right, it’s time to hand out awards for Play of the Year, 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.
Play of the Year
El-Bashir: Since Kirk Cousins yelling, ‘You like that!’ after the Tampa Bay game wasn’t an actual play, I’m going to go with something that actually occurred on the field prior to the quarterback’s unexpected outburst. Yep, I’m talking about the momentum-turning onside kick by Dustin Hopkins, whose perfectly executed kick was recovered by Trenton Robinson early in the third quarter. Cousins capped the drive with a touchdown pass to Jordan Reed that trimmed the Buccaneers' lead to 24-21. Indeed, Jay Gruden's gutsy call and the resulting touchdown set the stage for the biggest comeback in franchise history. It also marked the turning point of the Redskins’ season.
Tandler: That onside kick certainly was a huge play this year but I’m going to go a little bit later in the season. The Redskins hosted the Giants in Week 12 and needed a win to keep up in the playoff race. The defense picked off two Eli Manning passes in Giants territory but the Redskins could not get any points out of the golden opportunities. In the second quarter the home team took possession at their own 37 clinging to a 3-0 lead in a game they had dominated. Kirk Cousins stepped back, executed and play action fake, and launched a deep pass to DeSean Jackson, who had blown past the defense. He made the grab and rolled in to complete the 63-yard touchdown play. The Redskins led 10-0 and would go on to win 20-14. The win sparked a strong finish with the Redskins winning five of their last six games to take the NFC East title.
Do you agree with Tarik? Tandler? Or do you have your own play of the year? Let us know in the comments!