Rapid Reaction: Jets 17, Giants 3

Recap | Box score | Photos

WHAT IT MEANS: This was an important one for the Giants. The third preseason game is always the one in which the starters play the longest, and the Giants' offense wanted to show some improvement.

Instead, Eli Manning threw a couple of picks and the first-team offense managed just three points despite often moving the ball into the Jets' territory.

And the special teams looked awful. The defense looked good, and right now it appears Perry Fewell's unit will have to carry the Giants until the offense gets in sync. If you want to look at things optimistically, the Giants' offense could be just a few steps away from getting its act together. But the turnovers are upsetting for Tom Coughlin after seeing so many last season.

OFFENSIVE SHOWING: The Giants wanted to move the ball and put up some points. They were able to move the ball, but the starters kept stalling in Jets territory and the turnover bug came back. Manning threw two picks and completed just 15 of 30 passes for 200 yards in the first half.

The first Manning interception came on a second-and-10 at the Jets' 27. Manning, under pressure, threw too high for Victor Cruz, and Jim Leonhard ended up with the interception at the Jets' 18 in the first quarter.

Manning's second interception came as he attempted to throw to Ahmad Bradshaw on a short pass; linebacker David Harris picked it off. Manning shouldn't have thrown the ball on third-and-2 at the Giants' 44 early in the second quarter. Bradshaw was blanketed by Harris.

The Giants were 2-for-8 on third downs in the first half. They also got into Jets territory five times and came out of the half with only three points.

There were some positives. Manning finally hooked up with Hakeem Nicks often. Nicks had five receptions for 71 yards. And the running game showed some bright spots as well. Brandon Jacobs gained 51 yards on 10 carries before he was ejected for fighting.

SPECIAL STRUGGLES: The Giants' special teams took a major step backward:

• The Jets' Antonio Cromartie had a 68-yard kickoff return after he muffed the catch in the end zone.

• Giants rookie Jerrel Jernigan muffed two punt returns and then fumbled another one after securing the catch.

Devin Thomas also muffed a kickoff return that went out of bounds at the Giants' 4-yard line.

Rhys Lloyd had a 42-yard field goal attempt blocked. It was the second time this preseason that the Giants had a field goal blocked.

The punting competition, though, remains a bright spot between Matt Dodge and Steve Weatherford.

INJURY UPDATE: Linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka left the game after the first quarter with a groin injury. Defensive end Justin Tuck suffered a burner. He underwent X-rays, and the news was good. Bradshaw (back) saw some limited action.

ROLLE WITH IT: The Giants played their first game without injured cornerback Terrell Thomas. Safety Antrel Rolle saw time in the slot on Santonio Holmes on passing downs, with Deon Grant and Kenny Phillips at safety.

Fewell always has something up his sleeve, but it appears the Giants will use Rolle at corner a bit in situations this season.

WHAT'S NEXT: The Giants will reduce their roster to 80 on Tuesday before playing their second game in four nights, at New England on Thursday. Expect plenty of action for the younger players fighting for roster spots since the team has to cut down to the 53-man roster Saturday.