As the clock ticked by in the extra time of Sunday night’s Raiders-Chargers game, fans began to think the impossible could happen.
Before the match started, there was much talk of a scenario in which, if the other matches were to go well, the two opponents of the AFC West could go head to head in the “Sunday Night Football” match. “As long as it’s a draw, both teams will advance.
Although the two sides didn’t get on their knees for the entire game, it looked likely to be a draw after Las Vegas rerun Josh Jacobs dashed 7 yards near the center of the field and both sides left the clocks under a minute. Until, Chargers coach Brandon Staley called timeout.
After a timeout, Jacobs rushed 10 yards to LA 29 for the first time. Las Vegas then ended NFL fans’ hopes of a draw when striker Daniel Carlson scored a 47-yard goal without running out of time. . The Raiders went to the knockout stages with a 35-32 victory and Los Angeles went home to end the 2021 season.
Staley said after the game that his mindset was to take Carlson’s kick for as long as possible and that he wanted to put in place the appropriate defensive staff to stop the Raiders’ run.
“We felt like they were going to run the ball, so we wanted to put our best 11 in defence, make that substitution so we could play deep in goal (range). )”, Staley said.
Staley added that he doesn’t believe the Raiders changed their mind after the timeout, noting that Las Vegas ran the ball before and after.
“We want to make sure we have a solid defense there,” Staley said. “And obviously we didn’t perform well enough, but we wanted to get our high-end backline defense here and that’s what we did.”
Raiders interim head coach Rich Bisaccia said his team had a side chat about the possibility of a draw as time passed. He said that when Los Angeles didn’t call the timeout after Jacobs ran 7 yards, he thought “maybe they’re thinking the same thing.”
“Then we had a big run there,” said Bisaccia. , we’re going to score goals and try to win.” “But we’re definitely talking about that on the sidelines. We wanted to see if they were going to call the timeout during that run. They weren’t, so we think they’re thinking the same thing. . And then we popped in to run in there and give us the chance to shoot at goal and win. So we definitely talked about it.”
The Chargers tied the game at 32-32 with 4:35 remaining in stoppage time when Dustin Hopkins scored the winning goal from 41 yards.
Las Vegas started the race then with a quick 17-yard strike from quarterback Derek Carr with Bryan Edwards to the Raiders’ 42. Jacobs raced up the middle for about seven yards, and the meter ticked down. The next play, Carr threw a short pass for Jalen Richard to shoot 5m away, the clock still ticking.
Then Carr found Zay Jones at Chargers ’45 with an 11 gain, moving the chain and issuing a two-minute warning. Jacobs rushed to lose 1 on the first inning after that and then won another 7 for the Chargers ’39. Then, with just 38 seconds remaining, Staley called out of time, his first in two extra periods.
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After the timeout, Jacobs dropped Las Vegas first and ensured that not only would the team stay within goal for Carlson but also control the clock with just one timeout left for Los Angeles.
Carr sparked controversy after the game when he said the timeout changed Las Vegas’ strategy.
“Obviously it happened, but we knew, no matter what, we didn’t want a draw. We wanted to win the football game,” Carr told NBC Sports’ Michele Tafoya. “Obviously, if you tie, you’re in, all that, but my thoughts, all day today, I even texted Aaron Rodgers this morning. My thoughts are reassurance. that we were the only team to continue after this.”
As some have pointed out, it looks like the Raiders will run the ball before the Charger is called to timeout. Even a short run up the middle could put Carlson in the net to pick up the ball. His career spanned the age of 56 and he entered the game having taken 12 of 15 kicks from 50 yards or more.
The Raiders did not knee here before time ran out. And after the time runs out, they enter the center and run. They will try to score regardless imo pic.twitter.com/xSskq71ztA
– Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) January 10, 2022
Now, the Chargers will have to see rival Raiders meet the Bengals in the first round of the playoffs while Los Angeles awaits next season.