Cruz, however, blew by Josh Wilson and Madieu Williams, and the more than 80,000 fans in MetLife Stadium celebrated as Manning triumphantly pumped his fist once again after another fourth-quarter comeback.
"With our offense and Eli at the helm, we're never too worried," Cruz said. "No matter what situation we're in, no matter how many points we need or a field goal we need, we have the confidence we can do it."
Griffin had Washington moving for another score when Moss was tackled by Chase Blackburn after an 11-yard reception and fumbled. Rookie Jayron Hosley recovered at the Washington 43.
The victory was the third straight for the Giants (5-2), and it prevented Washington (3-4) from moving into a first-place tie in the NFC East.
The Redskins and their rookie sensation were oh-so-close to being tied for the lead, and Manning's improbable big play capped a wild second half that saw both quarterbacks make major mistakes.
Ahmad Bradshaw and Andre Brown scored on 1-yard runs, and Lawrence Tynes kicked a pair of field goals for the Giants, who won despite giving up nearly 500 yards in total offense.
Griffin was 20 of 28 for 258 yards and two touchdowns, both to Moss, and ran for another 89 yards on nine carries, Fellow rookie Alfred Morris gained 120 yards rushing.
Manning hit 26 of 40 passes for 337 yards and a touchdown for New York, which had 396 yards in total offense, with the biggest chunk coming on Manning's pass to Mr. Salsa.
"He did a good job leading his team to victory today," Griffin said. "When the game is on the line, you want the ball in your hand, no doubt about it. He made the play to win it."
Before the wild finish, the second half was dominated by turnovers.
Washington's Kai Forbath kicked a 45-yard field goal to narrow the lead to 20-16 with 5:21 to go.
The Giants were forced to punt on their next series, and Washington got the ball back at its 23. After gaining nothing in three plays, Griffin went back to pass on fourth down, eluded Pierre-Paul, and then danced around long enough to find tight end Logan Paulsen for a 19-yard gain and a first down at the 42. The 24-yard scamper got the ball to the New York 34, and two plays later Moss beat Hosley and hauled in Griffin's perfect pass as Griffin lay on his back and celebrated like a snow angel.
Manning and Cruz spoiled the afternoon seconds later.
Giants 27, Redskins 23
Washington 3 10 0 10 – 23
N.Y. Giants 0 13 0 14 – 27
Was–FG Forbath 20, 2:13.
NYG–A.Brown 1 run (Tynes kick), 12:41.
Was–Moss 26 pass from Griffin III (Forbath kick), 8:45.
NYG–FG Tynes 27, 3:53.
Was–FG Forbath 43, 1:49.
NYG–FG Tynes 39, :02.
NYG–Bradshaw 1 run (Tynes kick), 12:55.
Was–FG Forbath 45, 5:21.
Was–Moss 30 pass from Griffin III (Forbath kick), 1:32.
NYG–Cruz 77 pass from Manning (Tynes kick), 1:13.
First downs 24 22
Total Net Yards 480 393
Rushes-yards 38-248 19-64
Passing 232 329
Punt Returns 2-13 0-0
Kickoff Returns 1-17 4-106
Interceptions Ret. 2-7 1-41
Comp-Att-Int 20-28-1 26-40-2
Sacked-Yards Lost 3-26 1-8
Punts 1-33.0 3-40.0
Fumbles-Lost 5-3 0-0
Penalties-Yards 7-55 3-30
Time of Possession 32:43 27:17
Rushing: Washington, Morris 22-120, Griffin III 9-89, Young 5-26, A.Robinson 1-14, Paul 1-(minus 1). N.Y. Giants, Bradshaw 12-43, A.Brown 5-17, Manning 2-4.
Passing: Washington, Griffin III 20-28-1-258. N.Y. Giants, Manning 26-40-2-337.
Receiving: Washington, Hankerson 6-70, Paulsen 4-76, Moss 3-67, Morgan 2-16, Morris 2-10, F.Davis 1-13, Young 1-6, Royster 1-0. N.Y. Giants, Cruz 7-131, Bennett 5-79, Nicks 5-53, Bradshaw 4-22, Hixon 3-32, A.Brown 1-17, Hynoski 1-3.
Missed Field Goals: None.