"Offensively, we made some plays that allowed us to move the ball and I like that," Fassel said. "Defensively we allowed them to move the ball, but we were able to hold them to field goals.
"Our special teams were horse [crap]."
Penalties, missed blocks and tackles and poor kicking all left Fassel wondering exactly what he must do to improve the special teams, long a bane of his existence in the Big Apple.
But the Giants were able to pull the game out due to a super individual effort by reserve RB Antonio Warren. He appeared buried five yards behind the line of scrimmage, but cut back and dashed through the Pats defense for a 30-yard touchdown. He then swept in for a two-point conversion to forge New York's final score.
QB Kerry Collins had a crisp, effective quarter of football. He completed five-of-six passes for 84 yards and a TD. Collins has looked especially sharp since signing his contract extension as training camp opened.
On the Collins-led TD march, Big Blue moved 80 yards in five plays. The score came when WR Amani Toomer shook off Pats S Victor Green in the end zone and collected Collins' 34-yard scoring pass. On the previous play, Collins hit Shockey for a 31-yard catch-and-run.
"[Both plays] were off play-action," Collins explained. "We had a pretty good sell, and they got behind the coverage on both of them. Shockey got behind the linebacker, and that is exactly what he wanted. Amani got in a one-on-one match-up and got behind his guy and I just got it out there to him."
The Pats got their first TD by victimizing Giants rookie corner David Mitchell, who's had a rough go of it this summer. Pats WR Donald Hayes beat Mitchell in the end zone and caught Damon Huard's four-yard TD pass.
The Giants grabbed the lead back right before halftime when RB Ron Dayne stutter-stepped his way into the end zone from one yard out. It looked like the Giants had lost possession when WR Ron Dixon was called for a fumble while he was stretching to reach the ball across the goal line after a short catch. But the officials overturned their original call and correctly gave the ball back to New York.
Backup QB Jesse Palmer continued his ascent. He finished the contest 13-of-19 for 124 yards and one INT, which was a poor decision on his part.
"I thought Jesse played very well," Fassel said. "I talked to him about being patient."