Feely, defense lead Giants over Jets

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. Can you believe there were no fights? After the endless ridiculous talk all week about the skirmishes during the joint practices between the Giants and Jets on Aug. 6, the two clubs actually managed to make it through an entire game with no punches thrown. The only flare-up of note came in the third quarter when Jets LB Jonathan Vilma threw Giants RB Mike Cloud to the ground well after the whistle, drawing an unnecessary roughness penalty.

Now to the game:

In a very ugly affair the Giants knocked off the Jets, 15-14, behind a solid defensive effort and five FGs from Jay Feely. That covered up a shoddy offensive evening for Big Blue, which handed the Jets two TDs.

"You're always happy to win and I am happy to see our defense play better," coach Tom Coughlin said.

However, the Giants' offensive generosity wasn't much appreciated by anyone in New York's locker room.

"It certainly wasn't a very good job of securing the ball," Coughlin said.

"This game is all about turnovers and we had too many (five) today," Tiki Barber said. "We gave them all their points."

On Jesse Palmer's first snap of the game in the third quarter, he put way too much heat on a pitch to Derrick Ward. The fumble rolled into the end zone, where Jets LB Ryan Myers recovered it. One period earlier, Tim Hasselbeck and Mike Cloud collided in the end zone on a handoff attempt to give Jets DE Bryan Thomas a free TD.

"The quarterback needs to make sure he has the ball," Hasselbeck said.

Defensively, the Giants, who pitched a shutout and allowed only six first downs, were much more effective.

"It was an aggressive defense tonight that played very well," Coughlin said.

The Giants stymied two Jets drives with end-zone interceptions by rookie Corey Webster and Michael Strahan. Third-round pick Justin Tuck came flying off the right edge and posted sacks on consecutive fourth-quarter plays.

"Tuck was great, man," Strahan said. "Those things he did at the end were huge because it took them out of field goal range."

Hasselbeck's game was a mixed bag. He threw some nice passes, and showed some nice running ability. But he also lost two fumbles and had a tipped pass picked off. All told, Hasselbeck finished by completing nine-of-17 passes for 85 yards and running five times for 25 yards.

"I thought he did a great job early on," Coughlin said, before explaining that Hasselbeck's play from the middle of the second quarter on left something to be desired.

"Kevin Gilbride (the quarterbacks coach) told me after the game that we have to stick to the rules," Hasselbeck admitted.

The pendulum swung back and forth rapidly late in the first half. After a Will Allen pass interference penalty in the end zone gave the Jets the ball on the Giants 1-yard line, Strahan, who earlier forced a fumble, picked off a terrible Chad Pennington pass intended for Chris Baker in the end zone. However, Strahan was tackled one yard out of the end zone and on Big Blue's first offensive play, Hasselbeck and Cloud crashed into each other, the ball popped free and Thomas recovered in the end zone.

"Well it's disappointing, no doubt," Coughlin said. "We practice the ball on the minus-one all the time. We had some confusion, we had another running back and quarterback in the game and they just screwed up. But that's how you win and lose in this league. You cannot let that happen."

But the star of the game was Feely, who not only nailed all five of his FG tries, including from 54 and 52 yards out, but excelled on kickoffs as well.

"It's good to get a good start like that," he said. "Get off on the right foot."

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