Osi Injured as Giants Fall

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Only five days after jumping out to a 30-3 lead over Cleveland less than 16 minutes into the game, the Giants faced a much tougher struggle against Brett Favre and the Jets. In the end, an ugly affair that was overshadowed by an injury to Osi Umenyiora ended up with the Giants falling short, 10-7.

"I didn't think offensively we played very well," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "We didn't protect the quarterback very well tonight, on the whole."

While New York (1-2) surrendered a whopping eight sacks, all the post-game talk centered on Umenyiora, the two-time Pro Bowler who's being counted on heavily this season, especially after the retirement of Michael Strahan.

Early in the second quarter, Umenyiora had to be helped off the field and then carted into the locker room for X-rays after his left knee locked up. While the X-rays came back negative, the Giants were going to have to wait for Sunday morning's MRI results before determining the extent of his injury.

"I am thinking it's going to be OK," Coughlin said. "We are just going to have to wait and see."

"I don't want to speculate," said Antonio Pierce, who missed the game with a back injury. "I hope he's in practice on Monday."

When asked how the Giants would fare without Umenyiora, Pierce responded, "I don't think he's gone anywhere. The (opening day) game's in 11 days. He has 11 days to get healthy."

Mathias Kiwanuka knows a little about serious injuries, having broken his leg in Detroit last November. He said the Giants would survive even if the worst-case scenario unfolds.

"Yeah, we know we have the personnel to step up in his absence," Kiwanuka said. "Obviously, he's a Pro Bowler and you can't replace a guy like that without feeling it a little bit. We have enough people here to get the job done."

The biggest positive regarding the game was that the defense played strong in Umenyiora's absence, holding the Jets scoreless in the first half. While Favre was able to complete nine of his 12 passes, he was unable to get the Jets into the end zone. Justin Tuck dropped the former Packers legend for an eight-yard loss on Favre's first attempt to throw.

"The first team defense did well," Tuck said. "Obviously, we didn't give up any points, and that's always a good thing. I think we did good for the third preseason game. That's the game when you get the most reps, and we gave ourselves something to build on."

The Giants defense caught two huge breaks when a pair of illegal motion penalties on the Jets offense negated a fourth-down conversion for 29 yards and a 49-yard touchdown catch by Jerricho Cotchery, who blew right by Giants CB Kevin Dockery.

Tuck admitted the Giants still have some work to do.

"On some drives, we were on the field for a long time," he said. "We need to get off the field faster."

The offense couldn't get off the field fast enough, not scoring their only TD until early in the fourth quarter. Big Blue finally cracked the scoreboard when Ahmad Bradshaw was able to sneak into the end zone from three yards out. That score was set up by an interception from veteran DE Renaldo Wynn.

All told, the Giants only gained a total of 222 yards.

"Disappointed we didn't get any points on the board," said Eli Manning, who completed 10-of-17 passes for 113 yards. "I don't think we made many mistakes. We just didn't convert on some third and short yardage situations. Missed a pass here, tried to run and didn't get it. It's something we need to work on, when you can't convert those third downs and it is hard to maintain some long drives."

The Giants came closest to breaking the opening-half stalemate but fill-in kicker Josh Huston missed from 42 yards out after Manning was sacked for a 16-yard loss to squelch that opportunity.

The Giants made a late run via a beautiful 33-yard rookie connection between Andre' Woodson and Mario Manningham, who had three catches and 41 yards in his debut. However, Woodson was intercepted by Drew Coleman while trying to hook up with Manningham in the final minutes to seal Big Blue's fate.

Notes

Mission accomplished: The defense's primary goal against the Jets was to keep Gang Green from scoring on their first drive. They did a great job, stopping the Jets three-and-out and holding them to no yards on the possession.

Injury report: Besides Umenyiora, LB Danny Clark (groin strain), S Craig Dahl (sprained knee) and OT Na'Shan Goddard (concussion) also suffered injuries against the Jets.

Battered again: David Carr made a living getting pounded while with the Texans; against the Jets he dropped back to pass on six occasions and was sacked four times. To Carr's credit, he was able to complete both passes he was able to uncork.

"He was pressured and we didn't respond very well to it," Coughlin said.

Leader board: Derrick Ward gained 36 yards on only four carries, while Steve Smith caught four passes for 37 yards. Defensively, New York was paced by Gerris Wilkinson, who had nine total tackles. Sammy Knight had five stops and James Butler and Kenny Phillips four apiece.

On one sideline play, Phillips almost got all the way to the receiver from clear across the field. The Giants top pick had him lined up, but actually should have made a play on the ball instead.

"I have to think more interception than big hit there," he said. "I was surprised that I got there that fast."

Oops: Starting RG Chris Snee missed the opening snap because he had a problem with his chinstrap.

Shelved: In addition to Pierce, the following players didn't suit up against the Jets: QB Anthony Wright (back), K Lawrence Tynes (knee), WR Plaxico Burress (ankle) and LB Jonathan Goff (back).

The most recent news on Tynes was good; it doesn't appear that surgery on his left knee is necessary and he might be able to return within a few weeks.


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