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Giants QB Tyrod Taylor takes blame for end-of-half blunder in loss to Bills

The New York Giants came within a whisker of upsetting the Bills in Buffalo on Sunday night but for two failed goal-line drives.

In Sunday's 14-9 road loss, Big Blue ended each half at the Bills' 1-yard-line. The botched first-half situation appears the more egregious.

A Bills penalty in the end zone gave New York the ball at the 1-yard line with 14 seconds remaining in the second quarter. With zero timeouts left, the Giants should have had a couple of shots at the end zone and at least settled for a chip-shot field goal for a 9-0 halftime lead. Instead, they got zip.

Veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor, playing for the injured Daniel Jones (neck), checked to a Saquon Barkley run play, which was stuffed. The Giants couldn't get out of the pile quick enough to spike it before the clock ran out.

"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 took the blame for changing a play, adding he thought they could get a spike in before the clock ran out if the run failed.

"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 missed opportunity cost the Giants at least three points, which would have come in handy on the final drive, trailing by five points. Obviously, the second half would have unfolded differently, but if Big Blue had scored before the half, it's possible they wouldn't have needed a touchdown to win.

On the final possession, Taylor drove New York 48 yards to the 1-yard-line yet again. After another Bills penalty in the end zone led to an untimed down, the QB couldn't connect with Darren Waller with a defender draped all over the tight end, and New York fell to 1-5.

In hindsight, it would have been beneficial for Taylor to have flipped the two end-of-half scenarios, alerting to a run on the final play. However, Daboll pointed to previous short-yardage stuffs for sticking with a pass.

"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)."

For a club that has been blown out regularly this season, Sunday night's loss might have been the worst for fans. Taylor played solid for the most part. The defense held Buffalo scoreless through three quarters. The run game showed life in Barkley's return. And yet, Daboll's club couldn't find the end zone for the 13th straight quarter, coming up shy in the crucible of the big moments.

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