Ravens 0

(2-2, 1-1 away)

Giants 13

(3-2, 3-0 home)

8:00 PM ET, August 29, 2002


1 2 3 4 T
BAL 0 0 0 00
NYG 0 3 3 713

Giants, Ravens sputter through preseason finale

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- If the final game of the preseason was any indication, the New York Giants and Baltimore Ravens have much to do before the regular season starts.

In a game highlighted more by mistakes than big plays, the Giants got field goals from their shaky place-kicking duo of Owen Pochman and Matt Bryant, and a late 75-yard scoring pass from Jason Garrett to Jonathan Carter in a 13-0 victory Thursday night.

The Giants (3-2) outplayed Baltimore (2-2) in winning their preseason finale for the first time since 1990, but they made mistakes they certainly can't afford next Thursday in their season-opener here against San Francisco.

``We're going to take this for what it's worth,'' tackle Luke Petitgout said. ``It's still preseason and we've got a lot of work before our next game. Any time you win you feel better, but we know we have a tough challenge coming up.''

Pochman, who has battled an inflammation in his kicking leg, missed a 44-yard field goal in the first quarter and a 47-yarder in the second quarter was nullified by a holding penalty against rookie Quincy Monk.

Pochman eventually hit a 26-yarder in the closing seconds of the first half on a drive set up by an interception by free agent cornerback David Mitchell.

Bryant added a 39-yard field goal in the third quarter for a 6-0 lead, but he also missed badly from 48 yards.

Carter iced the game midway through the fourth quarter, catching a 15-yard pass and then sprinting the final 60 yards after the Ravens' cornerback slipped and the safety overran the play.

``I thought we did a lot more good things out there than things we didn't do well,'' an optimistic Jim Fassel said. ``What we didn't do well was correctable and I think we narrowed that down.''

The Ravens not only made numerous errors in the preseason finale, they went through the entire preseason without getting a touchdown from their first-string offense.

``It's very disappointing to finish any game, regular season, preseason, scrimmage, like that,'' Ravens coach Brian Billick said. ``You are just not going to win, dropping balls and being offsides on third down and not knowing the snap count. I don't think we gained anything from this game, and that's unfortunate.''

The Ravens should have scored two touchdowns.

In the second quarter, the Ravens ran a flea-flicker with halfback Jamal Lewis (five carries for 20 yards) taking a handoff and pitching back to quarterback Chris Redman. He tossed a pass down the middle to a wide open Ron Johnson, who dropped the ball at the New York 4-yard line.

Jonathan Burrough also dropped a sure TD pass from Jeff Blake in the end zone in the fourth quarter after safety Ryan Clark slipped.

A bad snap on the ensuing field goal attempt forced place kicker Matt Stover to throw an incomplete pass.

``This was just one of those games, Murphy's Law,'' Stover said. ``Our thoughts are to just bounce back after this and not let it get us down where we are not ready to go against Carolina.''

Baltimore opens its season on Sept. 8 at Carolina.

Even referee Bernie Kukar struggled in the second quarter.

After the officials ruled that Giants tight end Taman Bryant didn't catch a pass, the Ravens challenged saying Bryant caught the ball and fumbled.

Kukar reviewed the play for about five minutes and then walked back on the field and announced: ``After a whole lot of discussion,'' the play could not be challenged because the play was dead once the officials ruled the pass incomplete.

Showing the effects of a long preseason, the Giants played without seven starters -- quarterback Kerry Collins, halfback Tiki Barber, center Chris Bober, tight end Jeremy Shockey, linebackers Brandon Short and Mike Barrow and safety Shaun Williams.

Jesse Palmer, who started for Collins, played well, hitting 15 of 22 for 172 yards, the majority of which came after Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis drilled him on a third-down pass on the opening series.

There were seemingly no major injuries in the game which ended the Ravens' four-game preseason winning streak against New York.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


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