EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (Aug. 26, 2005) -- At least Jay Feely was perfect.
The Giants kicker made all five of his field goal attempts, helping his team beat the crosstown rival New York Jets 15-14 in an ugly preseason game Friday night. The teams combined for eight turnovers and zero offensive touchdowns.
Michael Strahan, playing with strained rib cartilage, added a forced fumble and interception for the Giants (2-1).
"This was a night when the special teams had to come through," said Feely, who connected from 52, 21, 54, 35 and 33 yards. "It doesn't mean a whole lot, but it gives our team confidence in their kicker -- and maybe it moves me up in some fantasy league drafts."
It was the first meeting between the teams since the much-publicized brawl during a joint practice earlier this month in Albany, N.Y. Everyone played nice during the game, but the play itself was far from that.
With Eli Manning out because of a sprained elbow and Chad Pennington playing poorly, there were no highlights from either offense. The Giants had five turnovers, including four lost fumbles. The Jets (2-1) had six total first downs and, including one in the second half, and managed 109 yards of total offense.
Pennington looked out of sorts, throwing two uncharacteristic interceptions into the end zone and losing a fumble when Strahan hit him from behind.
Pennington's performance was a vast difference from his play last week against the Vikings, when he had just one incompletion and threw a touchdown pass in his first game since offseason shoulder surgery. Pennington finished 5 of 11 for 36 yards Friday, and a quarterback rating of 14.
"We just couldn't get anything going offensively," Jets coach Herman Edwards said. "When we did, we turned the ball over. We're fortunate the game was that close."
|Chad Pennington struggled in his second preseason performance.|
On first-and-goal from the 1 in the second quarter, Pennington tried to soft toss a pass to tight end Chris Baker. Strahan jumped in front for the interception.
"I rushed it and the ball came out flat," Pennington said. "It's one of those passes you'd like to have a string on it. You want to pull it back as quickly as you let it go."
Instead of taking a knee, Strahan ran the ball out of the end zone for 1 yard, putting his offense in a huge hole. On the next play, Tim Hasselbeck tried to hand off to Mike Cloud, but the two players ran into each other. The ball squirted into the end zone, and Bryan Thomas recovered to give the Jets a 7-6 lead.
"I didn't know where I was. If I would have realized where I was when I caught it, I would have just fallen," Strahan said. "That was the smart thing to do."
Hasselbeck, who started in place of Manning, also lost two fumbles and threw an interception, finishing 9 of 17 for 85 yards.
Giants coach Tom Coughlin is still confident Manning will be ready to start the season Sept. 11, saying the soreness is gradually dissipating. But Coughlin doesn't know when the star quarterback will start throwing again.
In the meantime, he was encouraged with some of what Hasselbeck did.
"It was a good game for him to get out there and play with the first team and it gave the first team a chance to gain some respect for him," Coughlin said.
Jesse Palmer also got into the fumbling action in the third quarter. Palmer tried to pitch the ball to Derrick Ward from his 7. Ward never got the ball, and Ryan Myers recovered in the end zone, putting the Jets ahead 14-9.
Most starters played for a little over a half, including Pennington and Hasselbeck. Strahan and Tiki Barber only played in the first half. Barber had 13 carries for 47 yards. Jets running back Curtis Martin also saw his most extensive action of the preseason, with 13 carries for 59 yards.
Injury update: Giants left tackle Luke Petitgout left the game with a rib injury in the first quarter and X-rays were inconclusive. Jets DT Dewayne Robertson broke his hand in the first half, but should be fine for the regular season. S Andre Maddox tore ligaments in his right knee, and backup quarterback Jay Fiedler had his left hand wrapped, but Edwards said he was fine. ... Jets CB Ty Law played in his first game for the Jets since signing earlier this month.