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When Samaje Perine got going, so did the Redskins' offense

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Bob Youngentob for NBC Sports Washington

When Samaje Perine got going, so did the Redskins' offense

At halftime of the Redskins’ Thanksgiving night game against the Giants, Samaje Perine had three yards rushing and his team had three points. Washington had racked up all of 113 yards.

Coincidence? Not entirely. Although the Redskins are primarily a passing team they need to run the ball to pass effectively.

“We had to get the running game going,” said Jay Gruden after the game.

In the second half, Perine and the offense did get it going. Perine ran for 97 yards and Redskins put up 210 yards and 17 points. It’s safe to say that it wasn’t a coincidence.

The Redskins didn’t make any halftime adjustments to get the ground game in gear.

“We just had to stay the course,” said Perine. “We knew they were going to come out fired up, they just came off a big win. We just had to stay the course and then things started going our way.”

MORE REDSKINS: MUST-SEE PHOTOS OF THE WIN

Perine was more steady than spectacular. His longest run was 16 yards. He came out of the locker room and ran for six and 10 yards on his first two carries. Later in the third quarter the Redskins were backed up at their own 10. Perine ran four straight plays for 39 yards and the Redskins were near midfield.

Although they didn’t score on that drive they did change field position. That was part of the Redskins’ strategy playing with an injury-depleted offense.

“If you had to punt in a game like this and play field position, it’s not the end of the world because our defense was playing so good,” said Gruden.

Not only did the running game flip the field, it flipped the time of possession. In the first half, the Giants had the ball for 17:40 compared to 12:20 for the Redskins.

“We had to get on the field and control some of the clock,” said tackle Morgan Moses. “We had to give our defense a rest. Samaje put his foot in the ground and got extra yards when needed and we were able to move the chains.”

Moses wasn’t the only one enjoying seeing Perine pile up some yards.

“As a defensive player, you want to see that,” said safety D.J. Swearinger. “We say, keep running it. Keep running him. Let him keep getting those carries, put a dent in the defense. It was a good sight to see.”

RELATED: FIVE KEY MOMENTS IN RESKINS VS GIANTS

Swearinger got to watch a lot of Perine. The Redskins piled up 22:17 in possession in the second half, while Swearinger and his defensive mates had to defend for just 7:43.

Last night was the second time in four days that Perine has rushed for 100 yards or more; he had 117 in New Orleans on Sunday. No Redskin has rushed for 100 yards in consecutive games since Alfred Morris did it in November of 2013.

He will have a chance to extend that streak to three on Thursday against the Cowboys, who are ranked 17th in rushing defense. That would put him in some elite company in Redskins history, including Larry Brown (twice) and Stephen Davis.  A steak of three straight 100-yard games was last done by Morris in 2012.

It may be a little early to look forward, but the Redskins record is five straight 100-yard games, held by Clinton Portis (twice) and Ladell Betts.  

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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Need to Know: Five key moments from Redskins vs. Giants

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Bob Youngentob for NBC Sports Washington

Need to Know: Five key moments from Redskins vs. Giants

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, November 24, six days before the Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Jay Gruden conference call 3 p.m.  

Days until:

—Redskins @ Chargers (12/10) 16
—Cardinals @ Redskins (12/17) 23
—Broncos @ Redskins Christmas Eve (12/24) 30

The five key plays from Redskins vs Giants

Giants convert a third and 14 in the second quarter—This play just shouldn’t happen. Prior to this play New York had been 0 for 22 when trying to convert third and 12 or longer. But Eli Manning found Roger Lewis on the right sideline for a gain of 19. That kept alive a drive that ended with the Giants getting on the scoreboard first with a field goal.

Josh Doctson draws a pass interference flag late in the first half—The Redskins offense could get nothing going for most of the first half. After getting the ball at the Giants 48 with 1:04, they utilized Doctson for the first time. On first down, Kirk Cousins launched a pass toward Doctson who had cornerback Ross Cockrell beaten deep down the left sideline. Cockrell decided it would be better to give up a big play than give up a touchdown so he grabbed Doctson’s right arm, drawing a pass interference flag that put the ball at the 11. The Redskins couldn’t punch it in but a Nick Rose field goal tied the game just before halftime.

Kirk Cousins TD pass to Jamison Crowder—Again the Redskins got good field position in the third quarter and this time they took maximum advantage. They drove from midfield to a third and goal at the 15. Cousins couldn’t find anyone and scrambled to his right. That gave Crowder time to find some open space in the middle of the end zone. Cousins found him and fired a strike. It was Crowder’s first touchdown of the year and the Redskins had a 10-3 lead.

Janoris Jenkins 53-yard interception return—Later in the third quarter, Cousins just was looking for a little field position before punting and his pass to new third-down back Byron Marshall near the left sideline sailed high. It bounced off of Marshall’s hands and into the arms of Jenkins. They don’t call him  "Jackrabbit" for nothing and he sped into the end zone to tie the game at 10.

Cousins 14-yard touchdown pass to Josh Doctson—The Redskins were making the cardinal mistake of letting the underdog hang around. With the score still tied, the clock ticked under four minutes as Washington faced a second and eight at the 14. Cousins made a play-action fake and looked to the end zone. Doctson, who had Jenkins, the Giants best defensive back, covering him, lined up on the left and ran towards the post. Just as he got to the goal line he made a cut to the sideline. That got him a little separation from Jenkins and Cousins dropped the pass on the money for the winning touchdown.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Giants

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USA Today Sports Images

Need to Know: Final thoughts on Redskins vs. Giants

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, November 23, seven days before the Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Redskins Kickoff 7:30 NBC Sports Washington; Redskins vs. Giants, NBC, 8:30  

Days until:

—Redskins @ Cowboys Thursday night (11/30) 7
—Redskins @ Chargers (12/10) 17
—Cardinals @ Redskins (12/17) 24

Final thoughts on Redskins vs Giants

Look out for Eli—There are many reasons why the Giants are 2-8 but Eli Manning is not one of them. He isn’t nearly the turnover machine he has been for much of his career. His interception percentage this year is 1.6; he hasn’t been under 2.3 percent interceptions this decade. Manning only has 14 touchdown passes but considering that Odell Beckham, who went out in the fourth game of the season, still leads Giants wide receivers in touchdown receptions, that’s not bad.

Running game stuck—What makes Manning’s performance even more impressive is the fact that he doesn’t get much support from a running game. The Giants are 26th in the league with 920 yards. They have gained some traction lately after installing Orleans Darkwa as the starting running back; he is averaging 4.8 yards per carry for the season and 71 yards per game over the last three games. The Redskins certainly don’t want to let him get going tonight.

Reverting to reality—The Giants ranked 32nd in total defense in 2015. They dropped millions on free agents such as Janoris Jenkins, David Harrison, and Olivier Vernon and jumped to 10th. Now, this year they are 31st and equally bad against the pass (29th) and the run (30th). Health hasn’t been a huge issue, although Vernon has missed a few games and Jenkins was suspended. Redskins fans know full well that spending sprees don’t necessarily make for permanent improvements and Giants fans are learning it this year.

Keys to winning

  • Run the ballThe Redskins are 4-2 this year when rushing for 90 yards or more.
  • Continue to protect the ball—The Redskins have turned the ball over just twice in their last three games.
  • Don’t give them hope—The Chiefs let the Giants hang around last week and New York stole a win. The Redskins need to get on top early and mash down on the gas pedal.

Prediction—It’s hard to see a scenario where the Redskins lose this one. Even in their injury-depleted state they are battling every game and the same can’t be said for their opponents today. The weather forecast is for cold temperatures but not much wind, ideal conditions for Cousins to throw for 300 yards. For once, the Redskins get up early and keep going.

Redskins 31, Giants 13

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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