It's only the preseason, but New York Giants coach Jim Fassel is vowing to make changes.
Fassel was downright disgusted after the Giants turned the ball over six times, had a punt blocked, missed a chip-shot field goal and jumped offsides four times in a 36-24 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday.
``This exemplifies everything that I don't want out of this football team,'' he said. ``That's my responsibility, every phase of it, but there will be some changes tomorrow.''
The Falcons (2-0) simply sat back and watched New York self-destruct, scoring all their first-half points off turnovers and the blocked punt for a 23-14 lead.
``The defense did a great job creating turnovers,'' Falcons quarterback Michael Vick said. ``We put some points on the board and that's the most important thing.''
Kerry Collins guided the Giants (2-1) on a picture-perfect touchdown drive to start the game, completing five straight passes for 47 yards. He finished it off with a 1-yard toss to No. 1 draft pick Jeremy Shockey.
Then things went horribly wrong for the New York quarterback, plagued by 23 fumbles and 16 interceptions last season.
Collins fumbled twice and threw an interception, with each turnover leading to Atlanta points.
``No one wants to play like that,'' said Shockey, who left the game with a sprained left ankle. ``It is always bad to see stupid mistakes like that.''
Jay Feely kicked five field goals for the Falcons (2-0), improving to 8-for-8 in the preseason.
Vick tossed a couple of touchdown passes and turned a broken play into a 19-yard run, but he also had an interception and some other erratic throws.
``I think I did a pretty good job,'' said the 22-year-old quarterback, in his first season as the Falcons' starter. ``I'm just doing what I do, trying to play smart football.''
Collins should take a hint. On New York's second possession, he tried to hook up with Shockey again, only to throw the ball right to Ashley Ambrose. Making matters worse, Shockey sprained his ankle making a cut on the artificial turf.
``I was running at an angle and I changed directions real fast,'' said Shockey, one of the Giants' most impressive players in the preseason. ``It's not a real bad sprain.''
After the interception, the Falcons drove 40 yards for Feely's first field goal, but New York's comedy of errors was just getting started.
Rodney Williams had a punt blocked by Keion Carpenter, with Atlanta recovering at the 8. Vick threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Alge Crumpler that put the Falcons ahead for good at 10-7.
On New York's next possession, Collins was stripped of the ball by Patrick Kerney, leading to a 53-yard field goal by Feely.
Kerney, normally a defensive end, had dropped back to linebacker in Atlanta's revamped 3-4 defense. He credited new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips for a scheme that causes all sorts of confusion.
``Guys are running free, and that creates a lot of big hits on the quarterbacks and running backs,'' Kerney said. ``The offensive line is really strained mentally, trying to figure out our tendencies.''
Collins lost the ball again on his next attempted pass. Brady Smith leveled the quarterback, the ball popped loose and Matt Stewart made his second straight fumble recovery. The Falcons again settled for a field goal and a 16-7 lead.
On the ensuing kickoff, Delvin Joyce fumbled as he was falling to the turf. Derrick Vaughn recovered at the New York 25. After T.J. Duckett was thrown for a 2-yard loss, Vick hooked up with Willie Jackson on a 27-yard touchdown pass.
Collins redeemed himself a bit with a beautifully thrown spiral to Ike Hilliard, who split two defenders on a 48-yard touchdown pass.
The final play of the half was more appropriate for the Giants: Owen Pochman missed a 23-yard field goal.
Asked what changes he had in store, Fassel replied: ``Operation of everything. I told them I will take the responsibility, but that it will roll downhill quick.''
Vick's 19-yard gain was an offshoot of Michael Strahan breaking into the backfield, foiling an intended handoff to Warrick Dunn.
``Hey, you guys see what I see?'' Strahan asked reporters. ``He's elusive, and he has a great arm - and that's on film. In person, wow!''
Vick's interception was the lone turnover for the Atlanta first-teamers, who were called for only one penalty and didn't give up a sack while facing Strahan.