EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Mercifully the preseason is over. New York accomplished its main goal of the summer finale by avoiding any major injuries. That they blanked the Baltimore Ravens, 13-0, actually meant very little.
“I wanted to see some improvement,” Head Coach Jim Fassel said. “I thought we did a lot more good things out there than things we didn’t do well.”
Fassel mentioned the club’s punting, coverage units and defense as strong points.
QB Jesse Palmer got the start and played well. He completed 15-of-22 passes for 172 yards.
“I felt good,” Palmer said. “I thought the offense was able to move the ball a little bit. We moved the chains fairly well and did a good job of moving the ball. It was a great confidence builder for me.”
“Jesse has consistently given me confidence that he can play for us and win for us,” Fassel said.
A couple of longshots combined to help New York (3-2) finally get on the scoreboard before halftime.
CB David Mitchell posted a second-quarter interception of Ravens QB Chris Redman. That set up a 10-play, 51-yard drive, which was capped by Owen Pochman’s 26-yard field goal.
WR Derek Dorris was the offensive star of the drive, with three catches for 32 yards. Dorris has been solid all preseason and might just sneak his way onto New York’s roster.
Big Blue put the finishing touches on Baltimore when WR Jonathan Carter (4 catches, 128 yards) corralled a short Jason Garrett pass and raced to the end zone for a 75-yard touchdown.
“I ran a seven-step route,” Carter said. “The ball was slightly behind me, the defender might have tipped it and I just reached out with one hand and caught it. I ran from then on.”
The Giants are just happy to be finished with their practice schedule.
“Five preseason games are a lot,” DE Michael Strahan said. “We’ve been waiting for it to be done for a few weeks now. Everyone is anxious to get started and make the games count. I know I am looking forward to it.”