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Boller, McAlister TDs highlight Ravens' win

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Take away the seemingly minor knee
injury to seven-time Pro Bowl tackle Jonathan Ogden and the
Baltimore Ravens had a perfect preseason finale against the New
York Giants Thursday night.

Kyle Boller threw a touchdown pass, Chris McAlister scored on an
interception return and Jim Fassel got to enjoy it all on the
Ravens' sideline with a decisive 27-17 win over the Giants.

"It's just what you want in the last preseason game,"
Baltimore coach Brian Billick said. "We came out relatively
healthy. We had a lot of efficiency on offense. We gave up a big
play and we turned around and responded. It was a complete game and
you have to feel good about it."

The first-quarter injury to Ogden had Billick sweating for a
while, but the coach believes it was just a minor sprain to his
left knee.

The Ravens (3-1) were uncertain about Ogden's status for the
season opener on Sept. 12 at Cleveland.

The game was Fassel's first here since being fired by the Giants
after a 4-12 campaign last season, and it must have seemed like old
times.

The Giants, who lost their last eight games in 2003, played
poorly and the fans were booing the team and new coach Tom Coughlin
by halftime.

Fassel's quarterbacks also played well with Boller and Kordell
Stewart combining to hit 14-of-15 passes in the first half for 186
yards.

"It's a great way to go into the Cleveland game," said Boller,
who was 6-of-7 for 84 yards, including a go-ahead 3-yard TD pass to
Kevin Johnson. "We tried to work on being efficient and I think
tonight we did some good things."

The Giants (1-3) have bigger concerns heading into their opener
at Philadelphia a week from Sunday.

New York trailed 24-3 at the half and its only touchdowns, a
27-yard run by Chris Douglas and a 42-yard pass from Jesse Palmer
to Jamaar Taylor, came against the Ravens' backups.

"It's not what I was looking for in the last preseason game,"
Coughlin said.

The Giants were miserable in almost every phase. The defense put
up little opposition, the offense didn't produce points and
placekicker Todd France missed his first field goal of the season.

"You don't want to play as bad as we played," linebacker
Carlos Emmons said. "Even though the records in the preseason
don't mean anything, your performance means something, and we
didn't play well at all."

Boller, who has been personally tutored by Fassel this season,
gave the Ravens a 7-3 lead with his pass to Johnson. It came one
play after Ogden was hurt.

While Ogden was being examined on the bench, the Ravens' defense
scored. On a third-and-9 from the Giants 14, McAlister stepped in
front of Kurt Warner's pass to Amani Toomer along the left sideline
and returned it 23 yards for a 14-3 lead.

Stewart took over at the start of the second quarter and hit all
eight of his passes for 102 yards. He hit five in a 72-yard drive
that ended with Matt Stover kicking a 29-yard field goal.

After Warner was sacked on a fourth-and-4 at the Ravens 41,
Stewart hit Randy Hymes on passes of 9, 9 and 32 yards on
consecutive plays in setting up Musa Smith's 6-yard touchdown run
with 1:50 left in the half.

As the teams went to the sidelines, Fassel heard the all-too
familiar "boos" from the Giants fans. This time though, they were
aimed at Coughlin.

Wade Richey added a 50-yard fourth-quarter field goal for
Baltimore's only points in the second half.

The Giants' only bright moment in the first half came on their
opening series, when Warner completed a 49-yard pass to Tim Carter
to set up a 24-yard field goal by Todd France.

Warner finished 7-of-9 for 79 yards. Eli Manning, the No. 1 pick
overall, was 4-for-7 for 99 yards.

Game notes
Recently signed CB Deion Sanders took the train from
Baltimore to New Jersey on Thursday and watched the game on the
sideline, wearing a black shirt, shorts and carrying a yellow
towel. ... Taylor, the Giants' sixth-round draft pick who had not
caught a pass in the preseason, had four catches for 135 yards, a
33.8 yard average. ...Baltimore had the ball almost 35 minutes.
...Nick Greisen made a run at the Giants' starting MLB spot with 13
tackles.

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