Tyrod Taylor: Giants' goal-line gaffe in 1st half 'falls on me'

ByJordan Raanan ESPN logo
Monday, October 16, 2023

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Quarterback Tyrod Taylor took the blame for the play call at the end of the first half that allowed the clock to run out on the New York Giants at the Buffalo Bills' 1-yard line in a 14-9 loss at Highmark Stadium.

There was 14 seconds remaining in the half when Taylor alerted from a passing play to a run. Running back Saquon Barkley was tackled for no gain and the Giants couldn't get to the line of scrimmage to spike then ball before time expired.

"It was a decision looking back on it (I) never should have made. Shouldn't have made," Taylor 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 is communicating everything to everyone, got to be better in that situation."

The Giants had a 6-0 lead at the time. Even a field goal would have made it a two-score game with New York getting the ball to start the second half.

Instead, the Giants (1-5) lost on a crazy ending where a pass to tight end Darren Waller fell incomplete in the end zone on an untimed play. The Giants needed a touchdown on the play. It was their fourth straight loss.

The lost points at the end of the first half proved crucial.

"Had a play called. It was a run-action pass play and (Taylor) ended up alerting it to a run," coach Brian Daboll said. "Didn't get (another play) off."

Daboll was asked afterwards if he communicated with Taylor not to run it with 14 seconds and no timeouts remaining.

"Yeah. There was communication. Yep," Daboll said. "He just saw a look based on the play that we had and ended up alerting it to a run."

Barkley put the blame on his own shoulders.

"I got to do a better job. ... We got to find a way to come up with points there, but I put that on me," he said. "The ball was in my hands on that play. Got to find a way to score."

Barkley was making his return after missing the previous three games with a high ankle sprain. He finished with 93 yards rushing on 24 attempts.

Taylor, in his 13th professional season, was playing in place of injured starter Daniel Jones. He finished 24-of-36 passing for 200 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions.

"I thought he had a really good week of preparation," Daboll said. "He's a pro. I'm glad we have him. I thought he did a heck of a job (Sunday). Thought he did a heck of a job."

But the Giants once again failed to score an offensive touchdown. They have now gone three-plus games (205 minutes) without the offense getting into the red zone. Taylor led them into the red zone on five different occasions on Sunday night against one of his former teams.

Even though the Giants came into the contest as the biggest underdog (15.5 points) in any NFL game this season, the way it all unfolded -- they led for most of three quarters and had a chance to win on the final play -- left a sour taste in their mouths.

"Disappointed," Taylor said. "Obviously, the goal is always to win. We came up short of that (Sunday night). So, yeah, disappointed."

One-yard short. And the last play came with some potential controversy.

Bills defensive back Taron Johnson had his hands all over Waller on the game's final play.

"There was contact," Waller said. "But I'm not someone who is going to get into what a call should've been or how to tell the officials how to do their job because there is a way for me to make that play there and that is what I focus on."

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