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preseason football

This Is Not a Photo You Want to See After a Preseason Football Game

The upside to allowing your starting quarterback to play into the second quarter of his team's first preseason game, we suppose, is that he takes a couple extra snaps to shake off an off-season of rust. The downside, we now know, is that during that meaningless game, he might get run into by a teammate, loosening his helmet, then get blindsided by an opponent, knocking his helmet off to reveal a bloody gash on his forehead.

The good news is that Eli Manning appears to be okay: He showed no signs of a concussion and X-rays were negative, though he required twelve stitches. (The whole incident, it's worth noting, was Manning's fault: Eli neglected to tell Brandon Jacobs that he was changing the play, which had called for Jacobs to burst up the middle.)

Scary-looking incidents aside, the Giants won the game 31-16 — good news for guys like Terrell Thomas, who considered this game an opportunity to send a message to the Jets, or something. Undrafted rookie Victor Cruz put on a show, catching three touchdown passes, including a nifty one-handed grab — the other hand was busy smothering the helmet of Dwight Lowry — in the third quarter.

As for Mark Sanchez, he threw an interception on his very first pass, but ended up 13-for-17 with a touchdown during a full half of play. The Jets play next on Saturday at Carolina, while the Giants have their preseason home opener that same day, giving the crew at New Meadowlands Stadium five days to turn all the green lights at New Meadowlands Stadium blue, and replace all the Jets banners with Giants ones.

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Photo: Al Pereira/Getty Images