Bills linebacker Terrel Bernard and safety Jordan Poyer take down...

Bills linebacker Terrel Bernard and safety Jordan Poyer take down Giants running back Saquon Barkley, center, during the first half of an NFL game in Orchard Park, N.Y., on Sunday. Credit: AP/Adrian Kraus

The Giants' defense entered Sunday nght's game  in Orchard Park allowing 378 yards a game, but it held Josh Allen's Bills to 297 in the 14-9 loss to Buffalo,  including 169 through the air — 105 fewer than the Bills had averaged in their first five games.

The Giants held the NFL’s third-highest-scoring team without a point for three quarters and 100 yards below its per-game average.

Last week in Miami, the Dolphins had seven plays of at least 20 yards, including three of more than 60 yards.  The Bills had one chunk play, a 28-yard pass to Stefon Diggs.

The Giants have five takeaways the last two games after getting none in the first four.

“They have improved,” coach Brian Daboll said Monday of the defense. “I think Bobby [Okereke] has done a great job of getting the ball and getting hands on the ball. A bunch of those turnovers are a result of his play, along with the rush that goes along with it but seeing the quarterback, getting hands on the ball. Obviously, we had some big plays last week. We limited those this week. Improving the fundamentals, they’ve done a good job, they’ve improved, so we’re going to need to continue to do that.”

Okereke, an inside linebacker signed this offseason in free agency, has adjusted well to Wink Martindale’s defense.He contributed  a team-high 11 tackles, including two for loss. He also tipped a pass by Allen and forced a fumble by Gabe Davis.

But none of it was enough.

“It's always a gut punch when we lose,” safety Xavier McKinney said. “It’s not the result that we wanted. We gotta go back to the drawing board.”

 As the Giants absorb perhaps their most disappointing loss of a 1-5 season, reality will set in. If it hasn’t already.

The game  was there for the taking. And the Giants didn’t, reaching the Buffalo 1-yard line at the end of each half and failing to score a point each time.

Ultimately, on Sunday, they could not overcome the greatness of Allen. (And an officiating decision or two, but that’s a battle that — unless and until coaches can challenge penalties — is, sadly, a moot point.)

The Bills won Sunday because they had Allen and the Giants didn’t.  

Daboll, once the Bills' offensive coordinator, knows both sides of that feeling. It ranges from always believing you’re never out of it to frustration, which was the case Sunday night after Allen threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes — 3 yards to Deonte Harty on the first play of the  quarter and 15 yards to Quintin Morris with 3:48 remaining.

You’ll note that neither of those players is named Diggs or Davis.

Allen was not prodigious. But he’s rare, and he doesn’t always have to be at his best to win.

And none of this is meant as a dig at Tyrod Taylor, who usually gets no snaps during the practice week and against the Bills took all of them as Daniel Jones was sidelined with the second neck injury of his career. Jones told NBC on Sunday night that he hopes to play this week against the Commanders.

The Giants did not score an offensive touchdown for the third consecutive game and have not scored one in the first half of any game this season.

They got three field goals from Graham Gano that gave them 6-0 and 9-7 leads, and that was it. Their five trips into the red zone totaled nine points.

Bottom line: The Giants have scored 71 points and have given up 167.

The NFL trade deadline is nearing. It’s on Halloween this year. Trick or . . .  never mind.

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