Giants overcome injuries, beat Ravens 13-12

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Ravens were intent upon demonstrating their physical prowess. The New York Giants were eager to prove they could take it -- and give it back.

The result was a hard-hitting, mistake-filled preseason game that produced far more injuries than touchdowns.

New York won 13-12 Sunday night, but both teams lost key players.

"I know we had a lot of injuries and a lot of guys banged up. Hopefully it won't be too serious," Giants quarterback Eli Manning said.

Two members of New York's starting defense left in the second quarter. Safety Will Demps, who started all 16 games last season, dislocated an elbow and cornerback Sam Madison pulled a hamstring.

New York coach Tom Coughlin said of Demps: "They say three weeks. He said he's had this before and he was back in two. I'm hoping he's right."

The Giants also lost three offensive players. Wide receiver Michael Jennings had three catches for 31 yards before rupturing his Achilles' tendon, and Steve Smith, who caught a touchdown pass, left with a concussion. Guard Grey Ruegamer also had a concussion.

Jennings' injury occurred without a collision.

"It was a regular route. I just planted and I heard a pop noise," he said. "I'm going to have to have surgery and I've never had surgery before. I'm trying to look at the good side, but I don't know what the good side is right now."

Ravens cornerback Samari Rolle and receiver Mark Clayton sprained ankles.

In opening the preseason with a 29-3 rout of Philadelphia, Baltimore did not commit a turnover and was penalized only three times. Against the Giants, the Ravens had one turnover and received nine penalties in the first half alone.

"They'll come back. This is a good group," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "But you would think you wouldn't need to learn a lesson like this. If you don't keep your focus and your wits about you, then that's what you see out there."

New York (1-1) was penalized 11 times for 106 yards, and Baltimore (1-1) was called for 11 penalties totaling 66 yards.

"I just think it was overaggressiveness," Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis said. "Guys were fired up a little too much and jumped offsides when we should be keying on the ball. We're a veteran club; we can't let things like that happen."

New York running back Brandon Jacobs agreed: "Coming out, we had a bunch of dumb penalties and a lot of dumb staff going on out there. It definitely hurt us."

Ravens quarterback Steve McNair played three series, going 5-for-8 for 29 yards with one interception. Running back Willis McGahee played much of the first half, gaining 3 yards on six carries and catching one pass for a yard.

Manning played deep into the second quarter, going 10-for-13 for 114 yards and producing the game's lone touchdown.

Vying to replace the retired Tiki Barber as New York's starting running back, Jacobs and Reuben Droughns each received six carries during the first half. Jacobs rushed for 23 yards and Droughns gained 11.

The Ravens took advantage of a turnover by Manning to go up 3-0 in the first quarter. After a sneak by McNair came up short on fourth-and-1 from the New York 20, Manning fumbled without being hit and Baltimore recovered on the 12. Matt Stover then kicked a 33-yard field goal.

Manning made amends by capping an 80-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Smith. Jacobs accounted for 25 yards rushing on four carries.

Stover kicked a 47-yard field goal late in the half to make it 7-6.

After a scoreless third quarter, New York's Josh Huston sandwiched field goals of 50 and 30 yards around a 40-yarder by Baltimore's Rhys Lloyd, who added a 38-yarder with 2:39 left. "It was definitely a defensive struggle, with the kicking game being all important in that circumstance," Coughlin said. "Huston had a nice second half."

Against the Eagles, Baltimore drove 93 yards for a touchdown on its opening possession. This time, playing in the rain, the Ravens sputtered at the outset.

Top draft pick Ben Grubbs, starting for injured Chris Chester at right guard, jumped offside before the first snap. McGahee followed by losing 5 yards on a run, and Baltimore punted.

Things worsened for the Ravens on New York's initial play from scrimmage. During a 17-yard completion from Manning to Jennings, Rolle twisted his right ankle and had to be helped from the field.

The Ravens' next drive ended with an interception by Madison after McNair threw deep into double coverage.

"It just wasn't there tonight," McNair said. "It started off wrong with penalties and I had a turnover. It's something that's better to happen now than later."

Notes: In the battle to be Baltimore's third-string QB, Troy Smith went 4-for-8 for 60 yards, outplaying Drew Olson (1-for-4, 6 yards). ... New York's Ahmad Bradshaw gained 70 yards on seven carries. The Giants rushed for 182 yards; Philadelphia gained 23 vs. Baltimore last week.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.

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