Jets shoot Giants out of air

Fassel was pleased with the play of his OL. "The offensive line did a pretty good job," he said. "They handled things pretty well. They are getting better. They're molding and jelling together as a group. As a result, they are playing better."

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The Giants started quickly, but couldn't finish the job as they lost a 14-0 lead and fell to the Jets, 15-14 at Giants Stadium. It was New York's third consecutive preseason defeat.

"I saw some things I liked," Head Coach Jim Fassel said. "But then in the fourth quarter we started playing stupid football."

Despite playing without six key players, Big Blue jumped from the gate in impressive fashion. "Offensively we executed a number of things well," Fassel said.

"We started with a 95-yard drive and then a 96-yard drive with a big play," RB Tiki Barber said. "We were clicking out there, and that was without [Jeremy] Shockey, so that's pretty encouraging."

For all the Giants offensive inefficiency during the first two games, they more than made up for it on their first drive against the Jets. QB Kerry Collins led the troops on a monumental 21-play, 95-yard drive that was capped on fourth down when Collins found a wide open Visanthe Shiancoe for a 1-yard touchdown.

New York's next drive was even more impressive. Backed up to their own four, it only took Big Blue three plays to reach the end zone. Ike Hilliard took a short slant, split two defenders and raced 88 yards for the score.

"Those are nice - you throw them four yards and they go 88 yards," Collins said.

Hilliard finished with seven catches for 150 yards and a TD.

"Ike has been playing really well," Fassel said. "It's good to have him back and it's good to see him do the things he has done."

"Ike is going to be a big part of what we do this year," Collins said. "People are going to try to take other players away, and that is just going to leave Ike open in certain situations. He has proven what he can do, and he's going to have a big year."

Collins also turned in his best outing of the summer, completing 13-of-23 passes for 198 yards, 2 TDs and an INT.

However, things started falling apart in the second half culminating in failure on a crucial fourth down play. Fassel explained that the running play was supposed to go to the left but most of the team blocked to the right.

Notes

* Rookie RG David Diehl, who played very well Saturday night, found out after the game that his father had passed away. Mr. Diehl died suddenly in his sleep Friday evening but Diehl's family didn't want him to know until after the game. "Our thoughts are with him," Fassel said. "He'll probably be away a couple days."

* Jets QB Chad Pennington suffered a fracture-dislocation of his left wrist when he was tackled by Brandon Short late in the second quarter. "It's really unfortunate because we, as players, don't want to see anyone get hurt," said Michael Strahan, who has yet to play a down this preseason due to a broken toe. "For him to get hurt like that in a preseason game is just a shame. I hope he has a speedy recovery because I know the team is depending on him and all the Jets fans are depending on him. They have a great backup in Vinny Testaverde, but hopefully Chad comes back soon and by the time we play them in the regular season (Nov. 2), I hope he's back in the lineup."

* Fassel was pleased with the play of his OL. "The offensive line did a pretty good job," he said. "They handled things pretty well. They are getting better. They're molding and jelling together as a group. As a result, they are playing better."

* QB Jesse Palmer had his second consecutive terrible outing. He threw one of the worst interceptions you'll ever see in the fourth quarter, a toss right into the gut of Jets LB Mark Brown, who returned the gift 19 yards to the Giants 2-yard line. "I know I'm a better player than that," Palmer said.

* Matt Bryant missed badly on a 47-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter.

* LB Dhani Jones sprained an ankle, LB Nick Greisen pulled his hamstring and may not be ready for the start of the regular season, TE Marcellus Rivers suffered a thigh bruise, C Chris Bober had a rib injury that may be serious and G Sean O'Connor sprained his ankle.

* Big Blue's scratches were S Shaun Williams (shoulder), S Johnnie Harris (hamstring), TE Jeremy Shockey (rib), DE Kenny Holmes (knee), LS Ryan Kuehl (elbow) and DE Michael Strahan (toe).

* The Jets now lead the all-time preseason series with the Giants, 18-16-1, and have won eight straight exhibition contests.


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