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Giants-Bills final score: Giants lose heartbreaker, 14-9

Giants come with a yard of upsetting Buffalo

NFL: New York Giants at Buffalo Bills Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants held the Buffalo Bills scoreless for three quarters but still lost, 14-9, on the road Sunday night.

Two late Josh Allen touchdown passes were enough to fell New York’s low-scoring offense, which walked away with nine points in five red zone trips.

New York drove down the field in the fourth quarter and appeared to lose the game after an incompletion as time expired. A pass interference penalty on Buffalo gave the Giants one more play from the 1-yard line, but Darren Waller couldn’t haul in what would have been the game-winning touchdown pass.

Buffalo started slow with several three-and-outs and a fumble to begin the game. However, poor offensive line play and costly penalties stopped the Giants from capitalizing.

The Giants led 6-0 after the second quarter, the first time all year they’ve led at halftime.

The Bills scored their first points in the fourth quarter to take a 7-6 lead after a 17-play drive that began on their own 11-yard line.

The Giants responded by marching down the field with help from a 34-yard run by Saquon Barkley. But their red zone struggles continued as they kicked a field goal on fourth-and-inches.

Tyrod Taylor’s deep pass to Darius Slayton on fourth down after the two-minute warning fell incomplete, and the Bills took over on downs. Buffalo kicker Tyler Bass missed a 53-yard field goal that gave the Giants the ball back.

Red zone ineptitude

The Giants were in the red zone three times in the first half, yet they walked away with just six points to show for it. They have yet to score an offensive touchdown in the first half this season.

A deep pass to Darius Slayton helped set up a Giants first-and-goal early in the game. But New York’s offensive line allowed a sack and committed a false start that forced the team to settle for a field goal.

The Giants squandered another red zone trip in the second quarter with an illegal shift penalty and an incompletion to Darren Waller. Graham Gano kicked a 43-yard field goal to make it 6-0.

At the end of the half, head coach Brian Daboll opted to let time run off the clock before calling a timeout (presumably to avoid giving the Bills the ball back with time to score). It backfired: the half ended with the Giants trying to get off a play on second-and-goal. It appeared as if Tyrod Taylor called an audible to a run play that allowed the clock to run out after Saquon Barkley was stopped.

New York also kicked a field goal from Buffalo’s 11-yard line in the fourth quarter. Their final two plays of the game were both red zone incompletions.

The Okereke-McFadden connection

New Giants linebacker Bobby Okereke was a bit quiet through the first few games of the season. Sunday, he showed why the Giants gave him a $40 million contract.

Okereke had a forced fumble in the first quarter that was recovered by Micah McFadden. He deflected two passes in the second quarter, one of which McFadden caught for an interception.

The Giants went to the red zone after both turnovers but scored only three points.

McFadden missed last week with an injury but has had an otherwise impressive start to his second season.

Pugh in blue

Offensive lineman Justin Pugh made his return to the Giants after spending five years with the Arizona Cardinals. Pugh was the Giants’ first-round draft pick in 2013 and played five seasons in New York.

The Giants signed Pugh as a free agent to their practice squad less than two weeks ago. With all the injuries across the offensive line, Pugh is somehow already a starter. The quick ascension wasn’t lost on him:

Stats

Tyrod Taylor went 24-for-36 with 200 passing yards. He ran five times for 23 yards.

Saquon Barkley had 93 rushing yards on 24 attempts. His 34-yard run in the fourth quarter was his longest of the season, but before that he was averaging under two yards per carry for the game.

Darius Slayton had catches of 31 and 27 yards. He finished with 69 yards and four receptions.

Wan’Dale Robinson had eight catches for 62 yards.

Bobby Okereke had a forced fumble, two passes defended, and 11 tackles (two for loss).

Graham Gano was perfect with two field goals of 29 yards and one from 43 yards.

Injuries

Offensive lineman Josh Ezeudu left the field in the first quarter with what was called a right toe injury. Justin Pugh moved from left guard to left tackle and Marcus McKethan entered at right guard.

Bills running back Damien Harris was taken off the field in an ambulance and brought to the hospital with a neck injury.

Highlight reel

Giants inactives

QB Daniel Jones

S Bobby McCain

S Gervarrius Owens

C John Michael Schmitz

T Matt Peart

T Andrew Thomas

DL D.J. Davidson

What’s next?

The Giants will return home to face the Washington Commanders at 1 p.m. on CBS. Washington (3-3) beat the Atlanta Falcons 24-16 on Sunday.