Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Giants Fall as Maddox Has `Poor Performance'

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Giants Fall as Maddox Has `Poor Performance'

Article excerpt

Make fun of former Rams quarterback Tommy Maddox if you like (the line forms to the right), but the larger lesson of Saturday's exhibition game at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., was more troubling than Maddox's latest setback.

The New York Giants' 37-27 loss to the Baltimore Ravens provided new evidence that the home team is in for a long season.

Giants coach Dan Reeves used the phrase "poor performance" six times in his postgame news conference.

"You hate to see that, particularly with a young team, because confidence comes from doing things right and winning, and we just did not do anything right," he said.

For the second consecutive game, the first-team offense and defense were ineffective. After 3 1/2 quarters, the Ravens (2-0) had 21 first downs to the Giants' 1, and 355 yards to the Giants' 30. The defensive front seven were blown away by the Ravens, and the Giants offensive line got nothing going. The Giants (1-1) had 5 yards rushing in the first half.

Michael Jackson caught a go-ahead touchdown from Vinny Testaverde 12 seconds before halftime. Then Baltimore blew it open by scoring on its first three possessions of the second half, including an 84-yard punt return by free agent Ray Ethridge.

The good news for most of the Giants is they will get another chance next week against the New York Jets. That might not be the case for Maddox, who botched his first National Football League start since 1992. He cemented Dave Brown's job as the starter and inspired harsh comments from Reeves, his biggest supporter.

"You're judged by how you perform, and certainly from that, Tommy didn't get the job done," Reeves said. He was blunt when asked if Maddox can contend for the starting job. "Golly, I wouldn't think so. No, I mean, I said it was a poor performance. He played very poorly. It's unfortunate. He certainly had a lot of pressure on him in his first game with the first unit. But that's part of being a quarterback."

Reeves' most biting comment related to his recent statement that Maddox and Brown are close in ability.

"If I was wrong in a lot of things," he said, "I'm hopefully wrong in saying they were close going in."

Maddox completed five of 10 passes for 42 yards, one touchdown, one interception and fumbled two snaps (one was overturned by penalty). Of his seven series, five ended in punt attempts, one in a 21-yard touchdown pass to Thomas Lewis and one in an interception. Last weekend, he botched snaps from center on the first three series he played.

"The only thing you can do is learn from it and go back next week and try to improve on it," said Maddox, who was booed loudly by the crowd of 39,799. "I know a lot of quarterbacks have had bad days before. You just have to keep bouncing back. I still have confidence in myself. I'm still young (24)."

Even rookie Danny Kanell outdid Maddox, driving the team 88 yards down the stretch, ending with a 6-yard TD pass to Arthur Marshall. …

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