Green bean casserole is trash. I happen to like green beans, themselves, as a vegetable. Of course I love cheese and crispy fried onion strings, as well. But, green bean casserole as a staple holiday side dish? Nah. Still, for many, the side dishes are as important as the protein of their late November meal, even if on this particular matter, their palate is basic.
Washington's 20-10 week 12 win over the New York Giants was the green bean casserole of victories. It was ugly, unnecessarily bad and had no place in my Thanksgiving proceedings, yet I slurped it down anyway. The Skins continue to tread water as one of the final logs on the flume to the second Wild Card in the NFC and in all likelihood need five more victories to crest the summit and splash into January football. Who and what contributed to this particular win, exactly? I'm glad you asked! Welcome to the eleventh of sixteen #SundaySlices recaps, where we cut up the game to assign fame and blame, based on the outcome, into delicious pie chart form. Try not to make a mess.
(These are the players/coaches/etc. who are not in the pie, because they did not contribute to the win)
-FedEx Field. Like, the actual playing surface. I lamented a few months ago that the turf at the Los Angeles Coliseum appeared to be "green concrete" and last Thursday night, the grass in Landover seemed to be a relative.
-Ryan Grant/Vernon Davis. The entire passing offense was out of sync a bit, with Kirk facing constant pressure and these two combined to do virtually nothing in the way of assistance. Still, with only three total targets, I suppose that's understandable.
-Deangelo Hall. He's had a solid career in Washington and contributed multiple seasons of value, but the gig is up. Hall took zero snaps Thursday and for the defense's sake, that was a good thing.
Josh Doctson: 5%
The only things still missing from Doctson's game at this int are more targets and a nickname. As #DoctsonHive president, I will be addressing the latter in our upcoming meetings.
Junior Galette: 5%
One shot, one kill. Galette got his first sack since the Obama administration and made it count. Let's hope he can continue with late-game pressures.
Kendall Fuller: 10%
Some in the fan base were ready to write-off Fuller after a bumpy rookie season, but he has clapped back with four interceptions this season to lead the team. If he had five, you know like say with one last week in the fourth off of Brees, then Washington would be...my bad, let me stop.
Samaje Perine: 10%
Back-to-back 100-yard rushing games?! This effort was even more impressive coming against a premier defensive line, whose anchor in the middle is a man named "Snacks." Appearing to have shaken off early-season fumblitis, it is now impossible to be pissed-off at Perine.
Kirk Cousins: 15%
The Captain was navigating choppy seas on Thursday, but performed pretty well. According to Pro Football Focus, Cousins has been one of the top QBs in the league when dealing with pressure and he had a large sample size in this contest. Still, he stood tall, maneuvered outside of the pocket and made some big throws to his receivers, continuing his current trend of relying less on the running backs as check down options. Los Angeles Chargers QB, Phil Rivers, threw for over 400 yards last week at the expense of the Dallas secondary, so expect Cousins to eat well this coming Thursday and receive a large winning slice. (Side note: Kirk and Jay need better communication of play calls. It didn't cost the game, but against a real team, it would've).
Ryan Kerrigan: 15%
#91 showed the dominance of your largest uncle playing in the backyard Turkey Bowl game from yesteryear. Kerrigan was a force all night, accounting for two sacks, multiple pressures and approximately seven pouty Eli faces.
Bill Callahan: 20%
It may seem strange to give credit to the offensive line coach in a game where his quarterback was sacked six times, but this slice is more a season-long achievement acknowledgement. I will not pretend to fully understand the nuance of the pass and run blocking schemes of this offensive line, but what I do know is that the coaching staff comes into every week not knowing what players they will even have available. With 80% of the line being zapped with Jordan Reed juice, Callahan has somehow kept them competitive and for some stretches, pretty damn good.
Jamison Crowder: 20%
The loss of Chris Thompson last week could have been (and still could be) a death blow to Washington, but Crowder defibrillated offense on Thursday to the tune of 20 yards per catch. He has been a complete non-factor in the return game, missed time due to injury, battled a case of the Albert Connells (that means drops, shoutout to anyone old/washed/nerdy enough to get that reference) and had not scored a touchdown all year. Despite the confusion of playing for team with a problematic nickname on a holiday that means something much different for the settlers than the indigenous people, Jamison carved up the New York secondary, made his first pilgrimage to the end zone and perhaps made enough room for a few more victory slices in December. Pies taste much better than casseroles.
#SundaySlices will return following Thursday's matchup with the Zeke-less Dallas Cowboys. If you have any slice suggestions, send them to @slimceeVA on Twitter.