Placing a close game in the hands of Eli Manning is never a bad idea. But resting one on the shoulders of the defense can be just as good.
On Sunday, the Giants did both for good measure.
Aftger taking a 20-13 lead early in the fourth quarter, the Giants eventually let it slip away and found themselves down by three with 1:38 remaining.
Needing just 19 seconds to strike, Manning hooked up with Cruz for a 77-yard catch-and-run touchdown. The electrifying play, however, gave the ball back to Robert Griffin III (and a Washington offense that scored on its previous two possessions) with 1:13 left.
Enter the defense.
"Whenever you have '10' at quarterback, things can happen," Blackburn said of Manning, who coincidentally shares the same number with Washington's quarterback. "At that point, we didn't think we were going back on the field to defend with 1:13. There was only like, 1:24 when they took the ball over. I'll take that any day of the week. Giving us the opportunity to be up at the end of the game, we'll take it."
Opportunity knocked immediately. After Lawrence Tynes booted the kickoff for a touchback, wide receiver Josh Morgan fumbled after a short catch on the first play of the drive. But that wouldn't be the turnover that sealed the game as Morgan recovered.
That came two plays later when Blackburn tackled Santana Moss, spinning him around and forcing another fumble. Jayron Hosley recovered this time with 29 seconds left, and the Giants took a knee for the win.
"I was making a hit, and once I had him wrapped, I felt the ball," said Blackburn, who had a team-high 11 tackles. "I could feel it in there and I was just trying to rip it out at that point."