Some clock management errors fall into a gray area. Maybe a timeout could've been called but wasn't, and that cost a team time, but when errors are made, they're usually not completely obvious.
The New York Giants' mistake at the end of the first half of their 14-9 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at Highmark Stadium was completely obvious.
The Giants lined up with 14 seconds left in the half at the Bills' 1-yard line. They had no timeouts but could've thrown it two or three times into the end zone, and if they didn't complete any of them, they could've at least kicked a field goal for a 9-0 halftime lead. The only thing the Giants couldn't do was run the ball.
Then the Giants stunningly ran into the line. Saquon Barkley was stopped for no gain, and the clock was running. The clock ran out before the Giants could line up and spike it. The half ended without the Giants scoring on that drive, despite moving it to the 1-yard line.
Even NBC play-by-play announcer Mike Tirico blasted the Giants for the miscue.
"That's a terrible, terrible clock management end of the half," Tirico said. "That's awful."
"That's a terrible, terrible clock management at the end of the half. That's awful."
"On the goal line, you can't do that one."
Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth go off on the Giants, who completely butcher the end of the first half against the Bills. pic.twitter.com/liV7Yg0aHf
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) October 16, 2023
Giants head coach Brian Daboll was heated on the sideline and had an animated conversation with quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who was replacing injured Daniel Jones, on the way to the locker room. On the NBC broadcast, Cris Collinsworth pointed out that it seemed Taylor called an audible into the run play.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) October 16, 2023
Whoever was at fault, it was an inexcusable mistake at the wrong moment for a struggling team.
The Giants seemingly had a chance to avenge that mistake at the end of the game. Taylor got the Giants down to the 1-yard line again after they drew a pass interference call in the end zone, but they failed to score once again.
The Giants ended both halves at the Bills one-yard line.
Stopped on both 😳 pic.twitter.com/enBhFBebhf
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) October 16, 2023
Taylor finished throwing 24-of-36 for 200 yards in the loss for the Giants, which marked their fifth in their first six games of the season. Saquon Barkley had 93 rushing yards on 24 carries, and Darius Slayton had 69 yards on four catches. Although the Giants were right there in the end, their red-zone offense failed them when it mattered most.