Jets Beat Giants 17-3 in Preseason, 4 Months Before Christmas Eve Meeting

The New York Jets beat the New York Giants 17-3 in a preseason National Football League game played four months before their Christmas Eve showdown.

Mark Sanchez tossed a 17-yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes while the Jets’ defense intercepted Eli Manning twice and had a third-quarter goal-line stand last night at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The exhibition was pushed back two days because of the threat of severe weather from Hurricane Irene. The Jets and Giants, who share the $1.6 billion stadium, meet again on Dec. 24, during the next-to-last week of the NFL’s regular season.

“We look forward to it,” Jets safety Jim Leonhard said in an interview with ESPN radio. “We have a long time, but it’s a game you always want to win. Whether it’s the preseason or regular season, you always want to beat those guys.”

The Giants took a 3-0 lead last night on a 34-yard field goal by Rhys Lloyd with 5:04 left in the second quarter. The score came nine plays after a fumble by Sanchez at the Giants’ 37-yard line.

The Jets went ahead 7-3 with two minutes left in the first half as Sanchez hooked up with Holmes, a touchdown that was set up by Antonio Cromartie’s 68-yard kickoff return.

With the Giants’ offensive starters still in the game for the first drive of the third quarter, the Jets stopped Danny Ware on a fourth-down run from the 1-yard line to maintain a four-point lead. The stop came minutes after a scuffle that led to the ejections of Giants running back Brandon Jacobs and Jets defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson, a first-round pick in this year’s NFL draft.

‘Pretty Good Day’

“We had a pretty good day. We won the three quarters like we wanted to,” Sanchez said in comments distributed by the Jets. “We started off a little slow, but we got things going right before halftime.”

The Jets, who lost last year’s preseason matchup with the Giants 31-16, capped the scoring in the fourth quarter with a 1- yard touchdown run by backup running back Bilal Powell and a 33- yard field goal from Nick Folk.

Manning completed 15 of 30 passes for 200 yards for the Giants before being replaced by David Carr. Sanchez threw for 64 yards and connected on 8 of 16 passes for the Jets.

Jacobs had a team-leading 51 rushing yards for the Giants and Shonn Greene led the Jets with 42 yards on 11 carries.

The Jets, who are now 2-1 in the preseason, next play Philadelphia in a Sept. 1 exhibition before opening the regular season Sept. 11 at home against the Dallas Cowboys.

The Giants fell to 1-2 in their preseason schedule, which concludes in two days against New England. The Giants open the NFL regular season Sept. 11 at the Washington Redskins.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at matuszewski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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