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What we learned in the Redskins' win over the Giants

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Sports,NFL,Redskins,John Keim

1 Time of possession doesn't always mean much. It's always helpful to control the ball, but the Giants did just that Monday and because they finished three of their four scoring drives with field goals, they lost. They had the ball for nearly seven more minutes than Washington and ran 11 more plays. But the Redskins overcame that because they can score quickly: They averaged a whopping 7.1 yards per play. In years past, losing the time of possession battle, and not causing any turnovers, would have resulted in a loss. The Redskins needed the ball often and in good position to be able to score. But because of the offense, it ended as a one-point win this time.

2 The Redskins have become difficult to stop on third-and-1, if the last two games are any indication. Against Dallas, the Redskins burned the Cowboys with a play-action pass to a wide open tight end, Niles Paul, for a touchdown. Monday night, a fake zone read handoff to running back Alfred Morris ended with Robert Griffin III running around the end for 46 yards. The ability to do this will set up more plays in the future. It's one thing to deal with a good running back in this situation and another to worry about play action, but to throw Griffin's running ability on top of that makes it tough for a defense to know what's coming. This works because of Morris' ability, and the Giants sold out hard to stop him. Griffin had wide open space.

3 This is a far different Redskins team than those of the past. It's clear that Griffin's presence provides them with a hope that teams here haven't felt in years. But it goes deeper than just Griffin as the confidence and belief in where they were going existed before Griffin arrived. They still have flaws, which is why they're 6-6. But they also have players such as left tackle Trent Williams and linebacker London Fletcher willing to play with injuries that probably should have sidelined each one for at least a week. They're not major, but they do impact their play. These are the sorts of stories Joe Gibbs used to love talking about after a game. But these are the sort of stories that take part in runs like the one Washington is in now. Players don't want to let one another down. When that happens so, too, do positive results.

- John Keim

jkeim@washingtonexaminer.com

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