Giants victory hardly special

Penalties, missed blocks, tackles and poor kicking all left Fassel wondering exactly what he must do to improve the special teams...

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – For the second consecutive preseason contest, the offense and defense carried the Giants to victory, this time a 22-19 win over the defending champion Patriots at Giants Stadium. New York prevailed again in spite of its special teams.

"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."


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