Manning sputters as Jets top Giants again

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Apparently Tom Coughlin knew what he was doing when he named Kurt Warner the starter against the Jets. Perhaps not so much for what Warner did, but what top overall pick Eli Manning didn't.

Manning showed his first real rookie jitters and inexperience, completing only 4-of-14 passes for 20 yards. He also was responsible for three turnovers – two INTs and a fumble that was returned for a score. It all added up to a 17-10 Jets win, the ninth consecutive time the Jets have topped the Giants in the preseason.

"An example of how to lose a football game right there," Tom Coughlin said. "You can't have a blatant disregard for the football and win games."

Manning was the biggest culprit.

"I never got in the groove," he said. "I made bad decisions and bad mistakes."

"I don't think it was a question of him not being calm and composed," Coughlin said. "It was a question of him getting the rush and turning the ball over.

"Eli didn't play very well."

On Manning's first pass attempt, he tried forcing the ball to Tim Carter and was intercepted by Jets CB Donnie Abraham.

The third time Manning dropped back to pass it was even uglier. He was sacked by Jets DE John Abraham and fumbled, with the free ball returned 27 yards for a TD by Jets S Omare Lowe. Abraham beat Luke Petitgout, who has had better games, for the sack.

Manning's final fatal flaw was an underthrown pass intended for fellow rookie Jamaar Taylor. Jets S Reggie Tongue gladly stepped in front of the ill-fated toss.

"He had what he wanted," Coughlin explained. "But he floated it instead of drilling it."

The Giants offensive woes were summed up in a two-play sequence late in the third quarter. On third-and-goal from the 2-yard line Ron Dayne was stuffed for barely a yard. The fourth-and-goal play never got off the ground because TE Marcellus Rivers moved before the snap.

"Obviously you're not going to beat anybody doing that," Coughlin said. "If you can't hold your water or keep your poise right there."

For the second consecutive contest, Warner completed nine-of-11 passes, this time for 104 yards.

"I progressed in my knowledge of the offense," Warner said. "I'm getting to where I want to be."

Warner obviously threw the ball pretty well but had his usual trouble holding onto it. Twice when he was hit he coughed up the ball, but neither time the Giants lost possession.

"I had a bad habit of dropping the ball, carrying the ball in one hand," he admitted. "I have to keep two hands on the ball when I'm in the pocket."

The Giants moved the ball well on Warner's first possession – on which he hit Visanthe Shiancoe for 33 yards on the game's first play – but lost possession when Tim Carter was stripped by David Barrett at the Jets 6-yard line.

However, Big Blue would strike the next time it had the ball, with Dayne following a pulling Chris Snee for a 9-yard TD.

Jets WR Matt Dominguez took a short crossing route and beat Will Allen to the goal line for a 15-yard TD that capped an 80-yard Jets march and gave Gang Green the lead for good. Multiple Giants defensive lapses included Osi Umenyiora jumping offsides and Will Peterson being flagged for pass interference and holding.

Those were just a few of the 11 penalties the Giants committed, for 98 yards. As Coughlin said, hardly the way to win ballgames.

Game Notes

* LB Wes Mallard had a tremendous game, posting four solo tackles, a 10-yard sack and forcing a fumble. He dropped Jets RB Johnathan Reese for a two-yard loss in the third period.

* DT Lance Legree made his case to make the roster, recovering two fumbles and posting a sack in the third period.

* LB Nick Greisen turned in the defensive play of the game, diving to slap a Jets fumble that was clearly headed out of bounds back in play, where it was recovered by teammate Jack Brewer.

* CB Will Allen left the game with a sprained knee and didn't return. Ditto for S Shaun Williams, who appeared to suffer a hand/wrist injury.

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