The New York Giants just missed defeating the Bills due to two unsuccessful goal-line drives on Sunday night in Buffalo.
Big Blue ended each half of Sunday’s 14-9 road loss to the Bills at their 1-yard line. The mishandled first-half scenario seems to be worse.
With 14 seconds left in the second quarter, a Bills penalty in the end zone gave New York the ball at the 1-yard line. The Giants should have had a few attempts at the end zone with zero timeouts remaining and at the very least settled for a chip-shot field goal for a 9-0 halftime lead. They got nothing in return.
In place of the injured Daniel Jones (neck), veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor checked to a Saquon Barkley run play, which was stopped. The Giants were unable to spike it before time ran out because they took too long to emerge from the pile.
“Had a play called, it was a run action pass play and ended up alerting it to a run. Didn’t get it off,” head coach Brian Daboll said tersely after the loss, via the official transcript. “He saw a look based on the play that we had, and he ended up alerting it.”
Taylor admitted modifying a play and said that if the run failed, he thought they could get a spike in before time ran out.
“Yeah, it was a decision, looking back on it, definitely shouldn’t have made,” he said. “Alerted to a run, thought I saw a look that was beneficial for us, and it wasn’t the right call. That falls on me, as a quarterback, as a leader, as the one that’s communicating everything to everyone — got to be better in that situation.”
The Giants lost out on at least three points, which would have been helpful on the final drive with a five-point deficit. Although the second half would undoubtedly have played out differently, Big Blue might not have required a touchdown to win if they had scored before the break.
Taylor again led New York 48 yards to the 1-yard line on the game’s final drive. With a defender wrapped all over tight end Darren Waller after another Bills penalty in the end zone resulted in an untimed down, the quarterback was unable to connect with Waller, and New York dropped to 1-5.
Taylor would have benefited by flipping the two end-of-half scenarios in order to foresee a run on the last play. Daboll, though, argued in favor of staying with a pass by citing earlier short-yardage situations.
“It was some discussion, but we’d been stopped on two third-and-1s,” he said. “We’d been stopped on the goal line at the end of the half, so I thought it was a good call by (offensive coordinator) Mike (Kafka).”
The defeat on Sunday night may have been the toughest for supporters of a team who had seen their team blown away frequently this season. For the most part, Taylor displayed good play. Through three quarters, Buffalo was kept without a point by the defense. The run game indicated that Barkley’s return had vitality. However, Daboll’s team was unable to score for the 13th consecutive quarter, falling short in the pressure-filled situations.