Giants stumble to Ravens to end preseason

If the fourth preseason game is to serve as a tune-up for the upcoming season, perhaps the Giants should leave the car in the shop. New York's first teams were overmatched against Baltimore as the Ravens handed New York (1-3) its third consecutive preseason defeat, 27-17. <BR><BR>

"A little bit of pride here would make a big difference in the game," Tom Coughlin said. "It's not how you want to leave the preseason in terms of how your (first teams) played.

"We have to be playing on all cylinders to have a chance to win."

They weren't.

Kurt Warner, for the second time this preseason, forced a pass at the sideline and had it intercepted and returned for a touchdown. This time the lucky recipient was Ravens CB Chris McAlister, who picked off the poor pass intended for Amani Toomer and raced 23 yards to paydirt. Ironically, Warner's only highlight came on a poorly thrown pass earlier in the game. Tim Carter toasted McAlister down the right sideline, but had to settle for a 49-yard gain because Warner underthrew the pass.

Warner finished the game by completing 7-of-9 passes but he continually failed to throw the ball away on multiple occasions and was sacked twice.

Eli Manning didn't fare much better upon entering the contest late in the second period, throwing an incompletion and getting sacked and fumbling on his first three plays.

The second half was another story, as Manning twice connected with rookie receiver Jamaar Taylor, preceding a beautiful 27-yard TD run by Chris Douglas.

The young duo hooked up again later in the third quarter for a 58-yard gain.

Manning finished the contest 4-of-7 for 99 yards, as neither the prized rookie nor the experienced veteran could muster up even a measly TD pass during the entire preseason.

Fittingly third-stringer Jesse Palmer entered the game and promptly led New York 73 yards in only four plays, capping the march with a perfectly placed 42-yard TD pass to Taylor, who was clearly New York's star of the game.

Taylor posted 135 yards on four catches, as he appeared to seal his roster spot.

"It's reassuring that I can go out there at 85-90 percent and do what I did," Taylor said.

Defensively the Giants again couldn't tackle or cover anyone. The usual special teams miscues—a missed 44-yard field goal by Todd France, a pair of errant snaps from Ryan Kuehl, a Curtis Deloatch dropped punt and a muffed kickoff return from Willie Ponder for starters—were present as well.

Taking this all in must have been a real treat for Ravens senior consultant Jim Fassel. He's certainly seen this sorry act before. Now, however, it's Tom Coughlin's mess to clean up.

Game Notes

* Nick Greisen made quite a statement for the starting MLB job, posting 13 tackles, including nine solo stops.

* New York's newest offensive linemen took some snaps, as both Jason Whittle then Solomon Page filled in at left guard and Brandon Winey toiled at right tackle.

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