LAS VEGAS (CBSLA) — The final game of the NFL season ended in grand fashion, with two teams fighting for the final playoff spot duking it out until the final seconds of regulation, and then again in overtime.
READ MORE: NFL Announces All-Pro Rosters; Kupp, Donald, Ramsey Make First-Team
The Los Angeles Chargers (9-8) and the Las Vegas Raiders (10-7), went head-t0-head on Sunday, with the Raiders advancing to the playoffs with a 35-32 victory in overtime.
The story of the game for the Chargers was sloppy play, equating in two turnovers, over 100 yards worth of penalties and no playoffs for the fourth straight season. Their last appearance was in 2018.
Despite their less than perfect play, Chargers fans were treated to a brief moment of hope as the clock hit zeroes at the end of regulation, when Justin Herbert hurled a 12-yard pass to Mike Williams, accompanied by a made extra point, to send the game to overtime.
The Raiders got the ball first in overtime, scoring promptly with a 40-yard field, driving down the field on the back of 46 yards rushing from Josh Jacobs. The Bolts would answer with their own successful drive stopped short of a touchdown, when Dustin Hopkins booted a 41-yard field goal of his own to tie the game once again.
The next drive would be the fateful drive for Chargers fans everywhere, as the Raiders soaked up all 4 minutes and 30 seconds left in overtime, driving 46 yards on eight plays, ending the game with a 47-yard field goal, Carlson’s fifth of the game.
Nearly everything pointed Chargers, including the penalty yardage for the game, accounting for 108 yards on 10 penalties; compared to the four penalties of the Raiders – amounting to just 38 yards.
Los Angeles accumulated 440 yards of offense, 355 through the air and 85 on the ground. The Raiders plan of attack was nearly 50-50, amassing 172 yards passing and 174 yards rushing.
Herbert finished the game completing 34-of-64 passes for 383 yards and three touchdowns. He also threw one interception and was sacked three times. Derek Carr, who led the Raiders to their first playoff berth since 2016, threw for 186 yards and two touchdowns. He was also sacked three times.
Josh Jacobs of Las Vegas led all players in rushing yards with 132, followed by 64 from Austin Ekeler. Ekeler also caught five passing on 12 targets.
Mike Williams would eclipse the century mark in yards receiving in the game, with 119 yards on nine receptions.READ MORE: Chargers Fire Two Special Teams Coaches
Raiders Pro Bowler Maxx Crosby had six tackles, four QB hits and two sacks on the night, making his presence felt through all five quarters of play. A scary moment for Bolts fans game in the fourth quarter, when Crosby knocked the ball out of Herbert’s hands, in what officials initially ruled a fumble. After review it was ruled an incomplete pass, due to the forward motion from Herbert during his intended pass.
On the other hand, Chargers Pro Bowler Joey Bosa would also get his own sack on the night, bringing his season total to 9.5.
The Raiders will go on to face the Cincinnati Bengals on January 15 in the AFC Wild Card Round to begin the playoffs.
Las Vegas jumped to an early 10-0 lead after the first quarter, beginning the game with a 24-yarder from Carlson.
They received back-to-back drives courtesy of an Andre Roberts muffed punt a few drives later, resulting in their first touchdown of the game, when quarterback Derek Carr would hit his favorite target Hunter Renfrow on a 12-yard out route.
The Bolts promptly stormed back in the second quarter, outscoring the Raiders 14-7, as Austin Ekeler would account for two 14-yard touchdowns – one rushing and one receiving. The Raiders received a 1-yard rushing touchdown on the back of Josh Jacobs as well.
A low-scoring third quarter resulted in just one field goal from the Raiders, a 31-yarder.
An exciting fourth quarter began with another touchdown from Carr to Renfrow, however a two-point conversion attempt between the same duo failed, bringing the score to 26-14 in favor of the Raiders.
Herbert would almost immediately throw an interception just three plays later, into the hands of former-Charger Casey Hayward Jr. This would lead to yet another Raider field goal, this time a 52-yard boot from Carlson – 29-14 Raiders.
The two teams would trade scores, when Herbert led the Bolts on a 75-yard drive, capped off with a 23-yard pass to Joshua Palmer, and a two-yard conversion from Herbert to Ekeler, making the score 29-22.MORE NEWS: Texans Shock Bolts 41-29, Hurting LA's Playoff Hopes
A quick three-and-out later would put the ball back in Herbert’s hands, and the second-year quarterback would put together arguably one of his best drives of the season, spanning 83 yards over 19 plays. With no time left on the block, Herbert fired a laser into the chest of Mike Williams to send the game into overtime.