Giants top Ravens, win first of '03

BALTIMORE - New York started Thursday night's game minus eight starters, and at first it showed. But the Giants rebounded and avoided a winless preseason by topping the Ravens.<BR><BR>

Those MIA for Big Blue included QB Kerry Collins, RB Tiki Barber, TE Jeremy Shockey, DE Michael Strahan, CB Will Allen, LT Luke Petitgout, C Chris Bober and RT Ian Allen. Here's a synopsized view at what unfolded at M&T Bank Stadium the night of Aug. 28: c * Jesse Palmer started slowly, got better and ended up doing more than enough to hold onto the backup QB job. He completed 10-of-19 passes for 91 yards.

"He started out rough, but he wasn't getting a lot of help," Head Coach Jim Fassel said. "We weren't doing a lot of things to help anybody out early on, but Jesse came on and started to do a lot better. I was happy he was able to hang in there and turn things around."

"It was good," Palmer said. "I thought I did better. We started off slowly but the guys kept fighting."

* Will Peterson was beaten by Ravens WR Travis Taylor for a 49-yard TD.

* Keith Washington was flagged for roughing the passer, setting up a Ravens field goal. * Ron Dayne might have cemented his spot on the gameday inactive list with a first-quarter fumble.

* Special teams ace David Tyree made his first big STs play of the preseason, recovering a fumbled punt in the second quarter. That set up New York's first points of the game, a 36-yard Matt Bryant field goal. Tyree later forced another STs turnover, with Quincy Monk recovering the free ball. That led to Dorsey Levens' 1-yard TD run.

* William Joseph's fumble recovery resulted in another Bryant FG.

* Wes Mallard blocked a punt shortly before halftime, which preceded Palmer's five-yard scramble and dive for a touchdown.

* Ryan Clark cemented his roster spot as the club's fourth safety with a leaping fourth-quarter INT, which he returned 74 yards. * Delvin Joyce added a six-yard TD run in the final period.

* New York had a difficult time catching the ball early on, as Dayne, Jim Finn and Visanthe Shiancoe all dropped easy passes.

* Newly-signed snapper Carson Dach snapped very well and also recovered a first-quarter fumble on special teams.

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