SNF Recap: Chargers Lose to Raiders in Heartbreaking Fashion
This game was the best SNF game this season. The Chargers were down by two possessions in the 4th quarter and somehow clawed back from the dead to force OT. The Raiders and Chargers both traded field goals in OT, and then the Raiders had the last possession. The score was 32–32, and it seemed as though they were content with tying. However, Los Angeles coach Brandon Staley called a timeout. This act could have possibly led to Raiders’ coach Rich Bisaccia making the decision to kick the game-winning FG. There is still a lot to process, so let’s break it down.
The game started with the Raiders dominating, as they took a 10–0 lead at the end of the 1st quarter. Two Austin Ekeler TDs gave the Chargers a short-lived 14–10 lead in the 2nd quarter, but it was quickly erased on a Josh Jacobs TD with 37 seconds left in the half. The Raiders came out hot in the 2nd half taking a 15-point lead with 8:23 minutes left in regulation. The Chargers would not score at all until 4:28 in the 4th quarter on a magical drive led by 2nd-year QB Justin Herbert. They converted two crucial 4th downs and ended the drive on a Herbert 23 yard TD pass to Joshua Palmer. LA’s defense then forced a 3-and-out giving Herbert a chance to tie the game. The Chargers marched 83 yards, converted multiple crucial 3rd and 4th downs, and somehow capped the drive off with a Mike Williams TD as time expired in the 4th quarter. In OT, the Raiders won the coin toss. Their drive was good for a FG, now putting the game in the Chargers hands. They could’ve won the contest with a TD, but they would have to settle for a FG just like Las Vegas. The Raiders drove down the field, and with 80 ticks left on the clock it seems as though maybe, just maybe, they’d let the clock bleed out. This would have led to a tie, putting both teams in the postseason. However, LA head coach Brandon Staley called a timeout at the 0:38 mark. This possibly encouraged Raiders HC Rich Bisaccia to make the decision to kick the field goal that would send the Chargers home. K Daniel Carlson, who’s been automatic all year, didn’t disappoint and nailed the 47-yard kick to lift Las Vegas over Los Angeles. This game was wild, featuring 2 ties and 5 lead changes during the contest.
Chargers’ QB Justin Herbert ended the game with 383 yards, 3 TDs, and 1 INT. Although his completion percentage was a subpar 53.1%, he came in clutch when it mattered at the end of the game. RB Austin Ekeler led the team in rushing yards, with 64 yards and 1 TD on 16 carries. He also tacked on 35 receiving yards and 1 receiving TD. WR Mike Williams led the Chargers’ receiving core, hauling in 9 receptions for 119 yards and 1 TD. Keenan Allen stayed in his receiving drought, only totaling 52 yards tonight. On both sides of the ball, LA did not play clean football, giving up 108 penalty yards. Both teams racked up 3 sacks tonight. Raiders’ QB Derek Carr finished tonight with 186 yards, 2 TDs and did not throw an interception. RB Josh Jacobs feasted on the terrible LA run defense, going for 132 yards and 1 TD on the ground. Surprisingly, Bryan Edwards led the Raiders in receiving yards (63). Standout receivers Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow were held to just 22 and 13 yards, respectively. Something also surprising was Las Vegas’ 38 penalty yards, they actually played some clean football.
The final score tonight was 35–32, in Vegas’ favor. This game did not disappoint and was the perfect finale to the regular season. It was filled with ups, downs, and straight up madness. The Raiders now own the 5-seed in the AFC playoff picture and play the 4-seed Bengals in Cincinnati the next time they take the field. With the Chargers loss, the Steelers sneak in at the 7th seed and visit the Chiefs in the Wild Card round. The Chargers are disappointingly held out of the postseason this year, and will look for more success next season. Hopefully, Brandon Staley will learn to calm down, and maximize his stud QB’s potential. As for my predictions tonight, I got the spread/ML pick wrong, but I did correctly predict the shootout in this game. At least I got something right. I’ll be looking forward to Wild Card Weekend next week, and the CFP Championship on Monday. I’ll be writing something tomorrow about Georgia v Alabama, so stay tuned. Thanks for reading. If you haven’t done so yet, subscribe to my emailing list so you never miss out on an article. Have a good night everybody.
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