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A GIANT START

DESPITE LOSS, BIG BLUE STARTERS DOMINATE JETS

By PAUL SCHWARTZ

LOOK OUT, CHAD! Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora sacks Chad Pennington in the first quarter of the Jets' 20-12 victory last night.August 26, 2007 -- The Giants dominated on the field but not on the scoreboard last night while their starters were in action against the Jets. It was a 12-6 Giants lead at halftime before the reserves finished up and faltered in a 20-12 preseason loss to the Jets at humid and sweaty Giants Stadium.

After the Jets struck suddenly for a 79-yard touchdown on the very first play, the Giants dominated the remainder of the first half, outgaining the Jets 201 to minus-13 in yardage. Playing the first half, Eli Manning (17 of 35, 146 yards, 1 TD) was solid but not especially productive.

"As an offense, we have to find a way to keep the ball alive and drive down there and get touchdowns," Manning said. "Coming into tonight, we knew the Jets had been a kind of 'bend but don't break' defense and that's exactly what happened."

On defense, the Giants figure to have Michael Strahan back this coming week, as he's finally expected to end his holdout. Without him, the starting defense last night had one monumental lapse and then was rock-solid. Running back Leon Washington breezed out of the backfield and when Chad Pennington pump-faked, cornerback R.W. McQuarters bit big-time, leaving Washington free on the right sideline. Not only did Washington make the catch, but he cut inside past lunging safety James Butler and was gone. One play, 79 yards, one touchdown and a 6-0 Jets lead after Mike Nugent's extra point failed.

"I'm not sure exactly what happened on that first play, but it was ugly," linebacker Antonio Pierce said.

"The quarterback got me on the pump fake," McQuarters said. "I thought he was going to throw, so I tried to jump it, but I should have stayed down and fell back deep. It was just one of those things and I messed it up."

After that, the defense went seven consecutive series without allowing a first down and Strahan this week will be added to the mix.

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For Pete's sake! Jets just can't protect Chad

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BY RICH CIMINI

DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER

Sunday, August 26th 2007, 4:00 AM

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Chad Pennington completes 5 of 11 passes - one for a score - in the 20-12 win over the Giants.

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Brandon Jacobs carried 11 times for 43 yards to lead the Giants.

Kendall TradeDo you think the Jets got fair value for Pete Kendall?

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Read Rich Cimini's The Jets Stream

With 12:10 remaining in the third quarter last night at the Meadowlands, Chad Pennington unsnapped his chinstrap and walked slowly to the sideline. For the Jets, that moment was the highlight of the game.

That Pennington was able to walk off the field, still healthy, was a small miracle, the only good news in an otherwise sloppy, don't-believe-the-score victory over the Giants in their annual preseason game. The Jets' starting offense was utterly inept in the 20-12 win, as the left side of the line - sans Pete Kendall - collapsed under pressure from a Michael Strahan-less pass rush.

The Jets provided plenty of fodder for the critics who bashed GM Mike Tannenbaum for trading the disgruntled Kendall, a 10-year starter, to the Redskins for a fifth-round pick in the 2008 draft. Kendall's replacement, rookie Jacob Bender, was simply overwhelmed in his first start at the NFL level, surrendering a sack and at least two pressures. Left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson wasn't much better, also allowing a sack.

The $1 million question: Did the Jets blow it by refusing to renegotiate Kendall's contract?

"It's going to happen," Eric Mangini said of Bender's rough night. "Any young player, the first time, is going to struggle. It's part of the process. But there were struggles at different points from players of all different levels."

Pennington (5-for-11, 89 yards) was under constant pressure, unable to take a five-step drop without feeling the heat. He dropped back four times in the first quarter, and something bad happened on three of those plays. On the game's first play from scrimmage, he pump-faked cornerback R.W. McQuarters and found a wide-open Leon Washington for a 79-yard touchdown pass.

The Jets capitalized on an apparent blown coverage in the Giants' secondary for the starting offense's first touchdown of the preseason, but it was the last time the Pennington-led unit did anything positive. They went three-and-out on their next six possessions, going backward - minus-7 net yards in that span. At least Pennington didn't commit any turnovers, an improvement from last week's two-interception debacle.

"We got caught in a bad funk and couldn't get out of it," said wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery, who didn't catch any balls.

The ever-optimistic Pennington said, "Our problem is we're just inconsistent. I'm confident we'll get it fixed."

Backup Kellen Clemens (6-for-8, 122 yards) sparked the Jets in the third quarter, orchestrating 44- and 80-yard touchdown drives. On the latter possession, he fired 43- and 34-yard passes on back-to-back plays to Justin McCareins and Brad Smith, respectively, setting up his own 1-yard touchdown run.

A fourth-quarter interception notwithstanding, Clemens has proven this summer he can operate the Jets' complex offense, which will enter Mangini's thinking if Pennington stumbles in the regular season. But hold the quarterback-controversy rants: Clemens hasn't faced any first-team defenses in the preseason. And unlike Pennington, Clemens was afforded decent pass protection last night.

On Pennington's first third-down pass, he was sacked by Justin Tuck, who blew past Bender. Osi Umenyiora arrived a split-second after Tuck after beating Ferguson on an outside rush. On Pennington's second third-down pass, Ferguson gave up the sack to Umenyiora, with Bender yielding inside pressure to Tuck.

"I'm sure his heart was pounding," Pennington said of Bender, a converted tackle from Division I-AA Nicholls State.

Said Bender: "I didn't want to put my toe in the water to see how it feels. I was jumping in, head first."

Adrien Clarke replaced Bender for two series, but he was flagged for a false-start penalty on the Jets' 1-yard line. After that, they went back to Bender. It's time for the front office to address the left-guard issue. The Jets have two weeks before the season opener, and they have plenty of issues, especially on offense.

"There were too many collective mistakes that were made," Mangini said. "It's not one person or one phase. It's the whole unit."

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For starters, Revis impressive

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BY RICH CIMINI

DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER

Sunday, August 26th 2007, 4:00 AM

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AFC EastWho will win the AFC East?

Bills

Dolphins

Jets

Patriots

When Eric Mangini was asked to assess Darrelle Revis' performance last night in his first NFL action, the coach smiled. He knew the Jets' first-round pick had played well, but the ever-meticulous Mangini also knew there were a couple of mental errors that went unnoticed to the naked eye.

"I thought he did a good job,"said Mangini, noting that Revis was out of position on a couple of passes that weren't in his area. "I'm sure it was a dramatic change from being at home, watching on TV."

As expected, Revis started at left cornerback for the injured Andre Dyson. The former Pitt standout was credited with five tackles in the Jets' 20-12 win over the Giants, including three third-down stops on short completions. He also batted away a pass intended to Sinorice Moss. Revis, who covered the slot receiver on third down, was matched against Amani Tooomer. The veteran wideout had four catches for 47 yards.

"I play confidently," said Revis, who got a late start because of a 20-day contract dispute. "I don't play scared."

Revis also returned a punt for 13 yards.

Fellow rookie David Harris, a second-round pick, was active at inside linebacker, recording five solo tackles. He dropped Reuben Droughns for a five-yard loss on a screen pass.

DEFENSE RESTS: The Jets' starting defense allowed 210 yards in the first half, yielding a touchdown pass (a five-yarder from Eli Manning to Anthony Mix) and a field goal. They allowed two other drives into scoring position, but the Giants missed two field goals.

NOT SPECIAL: It was a rough night for the special teams, which cost them three points in the first half. The Jets botched an extra point, with Fred Robbins batting down Mike Nugent's low kick. Blame holder Ben Graham, who mishandled the snap. Later, on a punt, Rashad Washington was penalized for holding in the end zone, resulting in a safety.

INJURIES: RB Thomas Jones (calf), CB/KR Justin Miller (hamstring) and S Eric Smith (leg) didn't play. Miller is making progress and could see time in the final game. Jones, too, is coming along, but it would be a surprise if Mangini uses him in the meaningless finale. Jones is expected to be ready for the opener in two weeks.

WAD A PLAY! If it was the last play of Andre Wadsworth's career, he went out in style. Late in the fourth quarter, Wadsworth stripped the ball from a scrambling Tim Hasselbeck, setting up a Jets fumble recovery.

Wadsworth, trying to make the team after a six-year layoff from the NFL, is expected to be released in the coming days. He has been inspirational, if not sensational. ... Marques Tuiasosopo, trying to stick as the Jets' third quarterback, completed two of three passes for four yards in garbage time.

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Jets offense sluggish in first half

BY TOM ROCK | tom.rock@newsday.com

August 26, 2007

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Digg Del.icio.us Facebook Furl Google Reddit Spurl Yahoo Print Single page view Reprints Reader feedback Text size: Coach Eric Mangini said the Jets wouldn't be showing their entire playbook against the Giants, especially because they will play their same-town rival in just over a month during the regular season. So don't gag when you read the following stats.

After scoring a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage, a 79-yard pump-and-go pass from Chad Pennington to Leon Washington, the Jets ran 16 more offensive plays in the first half for a net total of minus-13 yards. The touchdown was the only first down for the full starting corps. They were 0-for-5 on third-down conversions in the first half.

Pennington, who threw two interceptions against the Vikings a week ago, completed 5 of 11 passes for 89 yards and was sacked twice while playing the entire first half. He was replaced by Kellen Clemens in the third quarter.

Clemens continued to keep the pressure on Pennington by completing 6 of 8 for 122 yards. The Jets scored two touchdowns with him under center.

Clemens engineered a three-play, 80-yard drive in which he hit Justin McCareins for a 45-yard gain down the left sideline and Brad Smith for a 34-yard gain down the right sideline before he scored from the 1 on a quarterback sneak - all while using a no-huddle offense. He seemed ready to throw his fifth TD pass of the preseason when he threw a deep ball for Frisman Jackson in the fourth quarter, but it was intercepted at the goal line on a nice play by J.R. Reed.

Jet streams

RB Thomas Jones (calf), S Eric Smith (leg), CB Andre Dyson (leg) and CB Justin Miller (hamstring) did not dress for the game ... LB Davis Harris looked good both on defense and on special teams ... The Jets allowed a safety when Rashad Washington held David Tyree in the end zone as the Jets punted from their 1-yard line ... CB Manny Collins, a Rutgers product, was a long way from Piscataway when he was beaten by Anthony Mix in the corner of the end zone late in the first half.

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[Jets rookie OL Bender embarrassed by Giants

BY TOM ROCK | tom.rock@newsday.com

August 26, 2007

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Digg Del.icio.us Facebook Furl Google Reddit Spurl Yahoo Print Single page view Reprints Reader feedback Text size: When the Jets drafted Darrelle Revis in April, they envisioned him as a starter. They saw the potential for him to step onto the field for the first time and look as if he'd been born to play in the NFL. They figured he'd be the guy to add stability to a weak position on the roster and be a difference-maker.

When they drafted Jacob Bender the next day, the aspirations for him were far less auspicious. They took a flier on the big body from the small school, perhaps hoping to mold him into a serviceable backup who could be inserted in a pinch. As a sixth-rounder, he wasn't even (and perhaps still is not) guaranteed a spot on the regular-season roster.

Yet there they were, two Jets rookies, each making his first start of the preseason against the host Giants in a 20-12 Jets victory last night. While Revis seemed to fulfill projections with a powerful debut, Bender looked every bit a work in progress.

Revis was one of the most active Jets defenders, and after sitting out most of training camp with a contract dispute, he had plenty of time to catch up as the Giants controlled the ball for 21:28 of the first half. He looked strong, coming up to the line of scrimmage to make a tackle on Brandon Jacobs on the second play of the game, one of the few plays in which the Giants did not gain positive yardage. He fought through a block and made a solid tackle on Amani Toomer later in the first quarter, holding the Giants to a 2-yard gain. He broke up a pass intended for Sinorice Rice over the middle on first-and-goal from the 8-yard line late in the second quarter. And on third-and-7 on the first drive of the third quarter, Revis tackled Kevin Ross a yard shy of a first down, forcing a punt.

Revis also returned the first Giants punt of the second half.

Bender plugged the huge hole left by Pete Kendall, traded to the Redskins earlier in the week. It was a hole that Adrien Clarke was unable to fill in the first two preseason games.

Bender, a tackle at Division I-AA Nicholls State last year, looked lost against the Giants' starters. On the Jets' first third-down play, Justin Tuck embarrassed him with an outside move and sacked Chad Pennington for a loss of 12. It was the first real look at an NFL-caliber pass rush for Bender, who played in a triple-option offense that primarily kept the football on the ground in college.

On the next Jets series, Bender first whiffed on a block in which Leon Washington managed to squeeze out 2 yards, then was part of a porous pass protection as the left side of the pocket collapsed on Pennington for another sack.

Clarke spelled Bender for two series, but he jumped offsides with the ball on the Jets' 1.

Bender looked much more comfortable against the Giants' second defensive unit in the second half, contributing to the opening drive, in which the Jets and Danny Ware ran for all 44 yards, including a 16-yard TD.

When the Jets traded Kendall earlier in the week and it became clear that Bender would be starting in this game, Pennington was asked if he was concerned about his own well-being with such inexperience at left guard. He chuckled, but Bender's play last night was no laughing matter.

"I think if they thought that our guys couldn't do it, they're not going to put someone in harm's way," Pennington said. "That would be my hope."

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Jets rookies Revis, Bender get valuable game time

BY TOM ROCK | tom.rock@newsday.com

August 26, 2007

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Digg Del.icio.us Facebook Furl Google Reddit Spurl Yahoo Print Single page view Reprints Reader feedback Text size: When the Jets drafted defensive back Darrelle Revis in April, they envisioned him as a starter. They saw the potential for him to step onto the field for the first time and look like he'd been born to play in the NFL. They figured that he'd be the guy to add stability to a weak position on the roster and be a difference-maker.

When they drafted offensive tackle Jacob Bender the following day, the aspirations were far less auspicious. They took a flier on the big body from the small school, perhaps hoping to mold him into a serviceable backup who could be inserted in a pinch. As a sixth-rounder, he wasn't even (and perhaps still is not) guaranteed a spot on the regular-season roster.

Yet there they were, two Jets rookies, each making their first start of the preseason against the host Giants in a 20-12 win last night. And while Revis seemed to fulfill the Jets' projections with a powerful debut, Bender looked every bit the work-in-progress that he was projected to be.

"He's just a young guy who's learning," quarterback Chad Pennington said of Bender. "Unfortunately, you sometimes have to learn in front of everybody when you're thrown into a situation like that."

Revis is learning, too, and said he had butterflies before his first real football game since his junior season ended last November.

"Once the first play was over," he said, "I was excited and I was ready to go."

He looked ready. Revis was one of the most active Jets defenders, and after sitting out most of training camp with a contract dispute, he had plenty of time to catch up as the Giants controlled the ball 21 minutes, 28 seconds of the first half. He looked strong, coming up to the line of scrimmage to make a tackle on Brandon Jacobs on the second play of the game, one of the few plays on which the Giants did not gain positive yardage. He fought through a block and made a solid tackle on Amani Toomer later in the first quarter, holding the Giants to a 2-yard gain. He broke up a pass intended for Sinorice Moss over the middle on first-and-goal from the 8 late in the second quarter. And on third-and-7 on the first drive of the third quarter, Revis tackled Kevin Boss a yard shy of the first down, forcing the Giants to punt.

Revis also returned the first Giants punt of the second half.

Bender plugged the huge hole left by Pete Kendall, traded to the Redskins earlier in the week. It was a hole that Adrien Clarke was unable to fill in the first two preseason games.

Bender, who attended Division I-AA Nicholls State last year, looked lost against the Giants starters. On the Jets' first third down, Justin Tuck embarrassed him with an outside move and sacked Pennington for a loss of 12. It was the first real look at an NFL-caliber pass rush for Bender, who in college played in a triple-option offense that kept the football on the ground.

On the next Jets series, Bender first whiffed on a block in which Leon Washington managed to squeeze out 2 yards, then was part of a porous pass protection as the left side of the pocket collapsed on Pennington for another sack.

Clarke spelled Bender for a pair of series, but when he came back, he jumped offside with the ball on the Jets' 1, a play that cost the team a half yard but did little to prove he belongs with the starting unit.

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[successful debut for Jets' Revis

By ANDREW GROSS

THE JOURNAL NEWS

(Original publication: August 26, 2007)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Surely the game films will expose some flaws in Darrelle Revis' preseason debut. But to the naked eye, the Jets' first-round pick displayed poise befitting a veteran.

"The coaches just say I played good, and we'll go over the corrections when we watch the film," Revis said after the Jets' 20-12 preseason win over the Giants last night at Giants Stadium.

The 14th overall pick this April started at left cornerback after his career was delayed due to a 20-day holdout to start training camp. Revis made five tackles, had one pass defense and had a 13-yard punt return.

"I thought he did a good job," Jets coach Eric Mangini said. "I'm sure it's a little dramatic change from being home, watching TV, to transitioning into the game. He played different spots. He played inside, he played outside. That was important to give him some reps at the different roles that he'll be playing."

In fact, both he and the Jets' coaching staff expected Giants quarterback Eli Manning to pick on him.

But that typical rookie treatment never came. The Giants played it as if veteran Andre Dyson was not sidelined with a leg injury.

"I was just playing football," said Revis, who admitted he was nervous before kickoff. "You think guys are going to come at you. Sometimes, it might not be in the game plan. Tonight, they were working guys in and out."

Revis displayed his recognition skills quickly. On the Giants' second play from scrimmage, Revis followed wide receiver Amani Toomer as he came in motion to the right, but correctly realized it was a running play.

So Revis burst into the backfield instead of dropping into coverage as linebacker Eric Barton and defensive end Kenyon Coleman stopped running back Brandon Jacobs for no gain.

"It's just watching films," Revis said. "Coach is always on us hard about watching film and studying our players. We do different schemes and disguises and that play worked as a whole defense."

Then, on a third-and-six from the Jets' 25-yard line, Revis came up to stop wide receiver Anthony Mix three yards short of the first down.

Also, on a third-and-two from the Jets 43 with 9:21 left in the second quarter, Revis got inside Toomer along the right sideline and nearly picked off Manning's pass.

"It was fast," Revis said. "It's a different transition from college. You've just got to slow the game down."

His physical play is one of the main attributes that attracted the Jets and convinced general manager Mike Tannenbaum to trade up 11 spots to draft him.

And Revis' first punt return showed how tough he can be.

He took Cory Ohnesorge's 41-yard punt and went around to the right sideline for 13 yards. Tyson Smith, who at 6-foot-2, 240 pounds is three inches taller and 36 pounds heavier than Revis, felled him with a hard body shot.

Revis immediately bounced up while Smith was slow to regain his feet.

Reach Andrew Gross at apgross@lohud

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