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By the numbers: Four Keys for Redskins

Certain stats plagued Washington at the start of the season, so we tracked them in Sunday's win over New York.

Numbers alone don't always tell the story, but these four stats have largely told the tale for the Washington Redskins after two games. Here's what the data on those numbers and others reveal about Sunday's 29-27 victory over the New York Giants. 

* Rush attempts

Season: NFL-low 14.5 through Week 2

First half: 10 carries for 30 yards

Game: 30 carries for 90 yards

Analysis: It's not just trying, but gaining yards. Considering how little Washington actually ran in the first two games, simply sticking with the ground game would be an achievement. Obviously, the yardage per carry isn't so hot, but the balance helped the cause. Actually, there was little balance on the go-ahead, 10-play drive as Matt Jones carried the ball eight times for 36 yards, helping set up Dustin Hopkins' fifth and final field goal.

* Time of possession

Season: 26:56, 26th in the NFL

First half: 14:08

Final: 33:26

Analysis: Second-half domination with the clock. Did that play a factor in the defense keeping New York out of the end zone after the Giants scored three touchdowns in the first half? Well, it certainly didn't hurt.

* Rush defense

Season: 124.5 yards per game, 27th; 4.2 yards per carry, 20th

First Half: 17 carries for 95 yards (5.6 yards per attempt)

Final: 21 carries for 120 yards (5.7 yards per attempt)

Analysis: There was no Rashad Jennings for New York but still issues for Washington. The only issue for Shane VereenS (11-67-1) in the first half involved holding on to the ball. That could explain why he didn't have a carry after halftime. Regardless, allowing nearly six yards per carry doesn't normally lead to wins.

* Third down defense

Season: 58 percent of conversions attempts allowed, 32nd

First Half:3 for 5 

Final: 4 for 9

Analysis: New York didn't convert a third down in the second half until its final drive. Fortunately for Washington, Victor Cruz's 18-yard catch on third and 14 came one play before Su'a Cravens's interception sealed the win. "We make adjustments here? Oh, good," head coach Jay Gruden cracked after the win. That's a nod to last week's discussions about the lack of adjustments.

Some other stats to note:

* Quarterback Kirk Cousins went 21 of 35 for 296 yards and two touchdowns and zero interceptions. His perfect 44-yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson in the second quarter breathed life into the offense. Oh, he also beat a team with a winning record for the first time in his career.

* On the one hand, Odell Beckham Jr. got the best of Josh Norman based on the following stats. Yet Beckham didn't find the end zone and was whistled for a penalty while blocking Norman on New York's final drive. The game turned chippy late, but the Redskins CB kept his cool throughout.

Ben Standig is the Publisher of Breaking Burgundy and the Huddle Report's 2012 NFL Mock Draft champion. You can find him on Twitter @benstandig and on Google+.

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