Chase Blackburn was a popular, over-achieving player and a hero of the 2011 Super Bowl victory for the New York Giants. His time with the team will always be remembered fondly. Sunday, though, Blackburn was one of the villains as the Carolina Panthers crushed the Giants’ comeback hopes on a game-ending 63-yard Graham Gano field goal, winning 33-31.
Blackburn is the Panthers’ special teams coordinator. Albert Breer of SI.com explains Blackburn’s role in Gano’s extraordinary kick, second-longest in NFL history:
Maybe you were wondering why the Panthers chose to run the ball on third-and-one from the Giants 46 with 35 seconds left, down 31-30, on Sunday. Social media sure was. And it was logical to ask the question.
We’ve got your answer. It’s in what special teams coordinator Chase Blackburn said to Carolina coach Ron Rivera (as Rivera laid it out to me) when the Panthers took possession at their own 25 with 98 seconds to go, regarding kicker Graham Gano.
Coach, he was killing it in warmups, Blackburn said. He’s good from 65. All we gotta do is get it past the 50.
So offensive coordinator Norv Turner—who actually saw Gano hit the 65-yarder in pregame—called a run, banking on Christian McCaffrey to give Carolina a fresh set of downs, maybe more, and at the very least one more shot at getting closer before the staff made its big bet on Gano’s right leg. McCaffrey got the yard. Cam Newton and the offense hustled to clock the ball. Then a Newton throw to Jarius Wright along the left sideline fell incomplete.
And Rivera got his final confirmation.
Just another cruel tidbit in a cruel turn of events for the Giants.