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DEFENSIVE ASSAULT
By Justin Paley
Jets Insider.com Staff Writer
August 27th, 2004

The Jets defense harassed the Giants offense all game long as Gang Green won local bragging rights by defeating their local rivals, 17-10 on Friday night before a crowd of 76,522 fans.

The Jets defense harassed the Giants offense all game long as Gang Green won local bragging rights by defeating their local rivals, 17-10 on Friday night before a crowd of 76,522 fans.

The defensive assault began on the first drive of the game as CB David Barrett forced Giants WR Tim Carter to fumble at the Jets six. It was Barrett’s first tackle as a Jet as he has played sparingly in preseason so far because of ankle problems. He finished tied for the team lead with five tackles.

Later on in the first quarter Giants QB Kurt Warner was hit by S Erik Coleman on 3rd and 9 from the Giants 21. Warner fumbled and the ball went all the way back to the Giants five before it was recovered by the Giants Marcellus Rivers.

Jets defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson showed innovation by sending S Jon McGraw on a blitz on 3rd and 9 from the Jets 33. McGraw sacked Warner for a six yard loss and the Giants were forced to punt. Warner left the game with 4:01 left in the second quarter and finished 9-for-11 for 104 yards.

Giants rookie QB Eli Manning came into the game after Warner and showed he still has a lot of work to do. On his second play, Manning threw an interception to CB Donnie Abraham, who lateraled the ball to Coleman, who then tossed the ball back to LB Victor Hobson.

Manning got a chance to redeem himself and lead the Giants to a score with 1:59 left in the first half. But on 1st and 15 from his own 40, Manning was sacked by WE John Abraham for a five yard loss (eight yards fumble yardage) and the ball came loose. After a scrum, CB Omare Lowe picked it up and ran it back 27 yards for a TD and gave the Jets a 17-7 lead. Abraham talked about the defense. “We’re coming together a lot and I feel we’re better than years past,” Abraham said.

Manning was not helped out at all by an offensive line that is inexperienced as he is. He completed only four of 14 passes for 20 yards and two interceptions. Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin talked about the young QB’s performance. “I don’t think it was a question of him not being calm and composted,” Coughlin said. “It was a question of him settling the rush and turning the ball over.”

CB Reggie Tongue intercepted a Manning pass on the first play of the fourth quarter and ran it back 29 yards. LB Sam Cowart, who finished with three tackles, talked about the Jets defensive performance. “That’s the attitude that Donnie Henderson is trying to bring to New York-an attacking-style defense,” Cowart said. “We want to get after the quarterback.”

The defense’s only blemish was allowing a nine-yard TD run by RB Ron Dayne in the first quarter. Dayne was the only Giant to have an impact in the game, carrying the ball eight times for 47 yards.

On the offensive side of the ball, QB Chad Pennington did not have as good a game as he did last week against Indianapolis but he didn’t need to with the way RB Curtis Martin was running. Martin was in mid-season form, rushing 12 times for 50 yards and also catching two balls for 11 yards. Pennington gave high praise to Martin. “He drives our offense,” Pennington said. “He keeps getting better and better and making good progress.”

Pennington and the rest of the starters played into the third quarter and he finished 6-16 for 52 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown was caught by WR Matt Dominguez, capping an 11 play, 80 yard drive that took an even five minutes in the second quarter. Pennington talked about the offensive performance of the first team offense. “We had some inconsistency,” the starting QB said. “We didn’t change much of anything. That’s what we have to work on, but we will keep working and look to build on that.”

Edwards agrees with Pennington. “They were ok but sporadic,” the Jets Head Coach said about the first team offense. They missed a couple of throws and have to get better.”

Backup QB Brooks Bollinger entered the game with 7:53 left in the third quarter and played the rest of the way. He finished 3-5 for 47 yards.

RB Lamont Jordan did not look good, fumbling the ball away at the Jets 10. He had 11 carries for 29 yards.

While pleased with the victory, Edwards feels the Jets still have to work on some things. “The second half was very sloppy,” Edwards said. “We turned the ball over too much and it’s going to come back to bite us.”

The Jets play their final preseason game next Friday at home against Philadelphia.

Game Notes Jets fans held their breath as Pennington was sacked for a 10 yard loss by Wesley Mallard, who drilled Pennington into the ground. As all Jets fans remmeber, Pennington was injured in last year's preseason game against the Giants…Jets LB Darell McClover was called for a face mask giving the Giants a first down. It certainly won’t help McClover’s chances to make the team…Donnie Abraham and Jon McGraw both left the game with injuries. Abraham has a bruised knee and McGraw hurt his groin. Edwards said both should be ok…The Jets now lead the all-time series 19-16-1…The Jets showed unity by not being introduced individually before the game.

Be sure to check Jets Insider.com for a photo gallery of the Jets win over the Giants.