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Jayron Hosley's 77-yard interception return helps Giants crush Jets, 26-3

Tim Tebow gets sacked by Giants defensive end

Tim Tebow gets sacked by Giants defensive end Adewale Ojomo during the second half of a preseason game. (Aug. 18, 2012) Credit: AP

Snoopy has a new owner.

Sparked by Jayron Hosley's 77-yard interception touchdown return -- and plenty of porous pass protection by the Jets' offensive line -- the Giants breezed to a 26-3 victory in the second annual Snoopy Bowl at MetLife Stadium Saturday night.

It wasn't the greatest of offensive nights for any of the three main quarterbacks: Eli Manning, the Super Bowl XVLI MVP, was 7-for-14 for 62 yards with an interception, and Jets starter Mark Sanchez finished 9-for-11 for 59 yards and one interception -- and struggled to outrun the Giants' front four for the entire first half.

"As a defensive line, we were able to get some pressure tonight," Justin Tuck said. "And that's really what we need to do if we want to be a good defense. Defensively, as a whole, we played pretty well . . . It's a step in the right direction, a plus for us."

Backup quarterback Tim Tebow entered the game to cheers in the third quarter, but he could not get the Jets' offense off the ground. He went 5-for-14 for 69 yards and rushed for 5 yards on two carries.

The Jets had entered the preseason game as the defending Snoopy Bowl champions, but within minutes, it was clear they couldn't protect Sanchez against Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul or Osi Umenyiora.

The Giants' four defensive linemen took turns collapsing the pocket and manhandling Jets right tackle Wayne Hunter. In all, the Giants finished the game with seven sacks -- three on Sanchez for a loss of 12 yards and four sacks on Tebow.

"Osi made a nice move to help me get that first sack," Pierre-Paul said, referring to his first sack on Sanchez, which resulted in a loss of 7 yards. "Osi went high and I came underneath and I just saw the quarterback there, so I hit him. On the second one, I just kind of bull-rushed, put my hands up and got him."

And while Sanchez was running for his life, the Jets were piling up penalties. The Jets starters were flagged for five first-half penalties (for 42 yards) and the Jets couldn't convert any third downs in the first half.

Those penalties helped derail several key runs by Jets back Shonn Greene, who churned out 36 yards on 11 carries.

Without wide receivers Santonio Holmes (rib, back), Jeremy Kerley (hamstring) and Chaz Schilens (ankle), the Jets' new offense looked lackluster. Jordan White had three catches for 28 yards and Jeff Cumberland two catches for 24 yards.

Ryan spoke to his players for a long time after the game, but remained positive, they said. His message, said Sanchez, was simple: "Put your head down and keep working."

This week, the Jets had visions of Victor Cruz's 99-yard touchdown run on Christmas Eve. But Saturday night, it wasn't Salsa Feet who sucked the life out of Rex Ryan & Co.

It was rookie cornerback Hosley.

The Giants' third-round pick intercepted a poorly thrown Sanchez pass intended for Patrick Turner near the left sideline and returned it 77 yards for a touchdown. That put the Giants up 13-0 with 2:16 to go in the second quarter.

"I threw it a little bit behind PT," Sanchez said. "The DB [Hosley] made a pretty good play, but I've got to see it on film. I was accurate, for the most part, all night. Felt good. But that just shows you how fragile the ball is and you miss by a little bit in this league, and they take the ball back."

He then paused and said: "That's one you'd like to have back. I know I can complete that pass."

Hosley said: "All I could see was the end zone, and I was going to get there, and I did . . . It was just green grass and the fans screaming. I was just going for the touchdown, that's it."

While the Giants saw some draft dividends, the Jets could only watch as their first- and second-round picks -- wide receiver Stephen Hill and defensive end Quinton Coples -- were non-factors. Hill had 21 yards on two catches, but couldn't make a diving catch in the third quarter on an underthrown Tebow pass in the end zone.

Said Ryan: "I know how hard we work and I know how dedicated this team is to improving. That's what I'm betting on."

Joe McKnight's roughing the kicker penalty on ex-teammate Steve Weatherford put the Jets in an early 3-0 hole. The Giants had gone three-and-out on their first series, but the 15-yard penalty gave them a fresh set of downs and they marched 63 yards on 12 plays. Lawrence Tynes' 35-yard field goal put the Giants up 3-0 in the first quarter, and added a 30-yarder early in the second to make it 6-0.

Truth be told, the Giants shouldn't even have been forced to kick a field goal. Just before, on third-and-10 at the Jets' 12, Manning tried to hit Cruz in the end zone. The pass was incomplete, but cornerback Kyle Wilson appeared to have held Cruz.

Josh Brown's 30-yard field goal off the post pulled the Jets to within 16-3 in the third quarter, but after another Giants field goal, Ryan Perrilloux's touchdown pass to Joe Martinek made it 26-3 in the fourth.

Cruz caught five passes for 51 yards -- including a 21-yarder in which he was flattened by a vicious hit from LaRon Landry. The Jets' safety also had an interception against Manning.

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