If a victory occurs in a half-full stadium located in a suburban enclave, does anyone actually see it? With secondary market ticket prices dipping well below movie ticket prices, Washington secured a win for the first time since Thanksgiving in front of thousands of fans whose couches apparently weren't as comfortable as others'. The win moved the Skins back to .500, as they position themselves as a long shot playoff tea...wait, what? They lost the New Orleans game? The game they were up 15 with six minutes to go? Time for more spiked egg nog.
With rumors roasting the team's coaching staff, front office and players like chestnuts over an open fire, the Skins managed to do just enough (and have the fortune of facing Blaine Gabbert) to find a W. Who and what contributed to this particular win, exactly? I'm glad you asked! Welcome to the fourteenth 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)
-The Third Down Offense. After week 15's 1-for-9 performance, Washington now converts on third down 33.7% of their attempts. That's 29th in the league. Last year they were 5th at 45.2%. Could be the injuries. Could be the change of personnel. Could be the loss of McVay. I don't have the answers, I'm not Colombo, but I know Gruden will need to find the solutions.
-Special Teams. Still waiting for someone to make an impact play.
-Vernon Davis. Since week 11 (the aforementioned Saints game abomination): four games, six catches, 59 yards. Many point to the loss of Chris Thompson for the offensive woes, but the Houdini of Davis has been equally disruptive.
Doug Williams: 1%
First, he has a tremendous last name. Second, I'll explain later in the pie.
Tress Way: 4%
I know, I know. I just slandered the special teams for the 14th consecutive week in the last section, but I'll give Way some love. When the offense is as inept as the Skins' have been lately, you need a good boot on your side.
Samaje Perine: 5%
Giving someone who averaged 2.6 yards a carry a slice may seem odd, but when you consider he had virtually zero running room and gained 35 of his 37 yards after contact? He deserves love. Also, chipped in with a 23-yard screen pickup.
Kendall Fuller: 10%
Players who are always in the mix of the action, fly to the ball, have no problem mixing it up with the other team and appear to give 100% effort at all times are a cliche-driven writer's dream! For the rest of us, we just call them "dogs." Fuller is a canine of the purest breed.
Kapri Bibbs: 10%
Who? The latest addition off the street introduced himself well. The Editor-in-chief of Fifty Gut, Paul Williams (no relation to Doug or I), actually called this in a podcast last week that you definitely should be subscribed to.
Kirk Cousins: 15%
With a guaranteed tumultuous offseason in the foreground, the Captain found time between promoting his brand on social media to have a pretty decent game. With the patchwork offensive line doing him no favors, Cousins stuck to mostly underneath routes. According to Pro Football Focus, a mere seven of his 37 pass attempts traveled past 10 yards, with Crowder and the backs reaping the benefits of the short game.
Preston Smith: 25%
A sack. A fumble recovery and damn near score. An interception. That was just the first half! With Smith playing Where's Waldo? for extended periods of time this season, it was encouraging to see him find the action Sunday. He goes into a contract year next campaign and efforts like this will help to secure his bag.
Anthony Lanier: 30%
Lanier accomplished more in one game than Albert Haynesworth did in two seasons--or at least it felt like it. The only thing missing from Lanier's showing was a Dikembe Mutombo finger wag as he swatted Gabbert's passes out of the air with ease. With five sacks in the last five games, the Doug Williams find, is forcing his way into the 2018 defensive line plans.
#SundaySlices will return following Sunday's Christmas Eve matchup with the unsaddled Denver Broncos. If you have any slice suggestions, send them to @slimceeVA on Twitter.