The NFL’s 2021 regular-season finale was a truly memorable event, with the Raiders defeating the Chargers in overtime. In overtime, the Raiders secured a win after a last-second field goal. It was the team’s first overtime win in the league. The game was closed with a 35-32 final score.
Both the Raiders and the Chargers knew they would make the playoffs with a win, and this game would have been the last chance for both teams to secure a spot in the postseason. If it had resulted in a tie, both the Chargers and Raiders would go into the playoff, kicking the Pittsburgh Steelers off the playoff picture.
Both the Raiders and the Chargers were clearly trying to win the game, but when the two-minute warning sounded, it felt like the stadium burst filled with conspiracy theories wanting both teams to advance into the playoff.
— Tony Montana 🇻🇦 (@TdawgMontana) January 9, 2022
Justin Herbert’s highlight drive
The game’s highlight was the seven consecutive times that the Chargers were able to convert on third downs. Justin Herbert led the Chargers back from a late deficit with two fourth-quarter touchdown drives and pushed the game into overtime.
Moreover, the Chargers had to convert six-fourth down plays while facing elimination. Once Herbert led his team into overtime, both teams exchanged field goals. Herbert had 34 completions out of 64 attempts for 383 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception.
The Chargers converted on six 4th downs facing elimination in the 4th quarter & OT. What were the pre-play odds of converting every play?
Q4 (5:01): 41%
Q4 (4:35): 3%
Q4 (1:49): 32%
Q4 (1:12): 30%
Q4 (:22): 32%
OT (6:02): 32%
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) January 10, 2022
Other than Herbert, Austin Ekeler, Chargers’ running back, had 16 carries for 64 yards, rushed for an average of four yards, and one touchdown. On top of Ekeler’s impressive ground game, he also had five catches for 35 yards and one receiving touchdown. Mike Williams, Chargers’ top target, had nine catches for 119 yards and a touchdown.
The Chargers’ defense could not do much against the Raiders’ solid offensive line and back. Joey Bosa, a star defensive lineman, and Uchenna Nwosu had one sack each. While other defensive backs failed to pick Derek Carr’s passes.
I don't understand why everyone on Twitter is insisting that the Raiders were playing for the tie until Staley took a timeout. Until we hear Bisaccia say that out loud, why should we believe it is true? They were playing to win and avoid the Chiefs.
— Aaron Schatz 🏈 (@FO_ASchatz) January 10, 2022
During the postgame press conference, Herbert confessed that he had hoped for a tie. “I had never been rooting for a tie more in my life,” the QB said, “That’s the unfortunate part of being so close.”
Despite losing to the Raiders, the Chargers were still proud of their season. They were close to making the playoffs, but it was not their time.
— Breaking Trends News (@breakingtrendsn) January 10, 2022
Derek Carr’s precision passing opens up path for Carlson’s perfect game
Derek Carr, Raiders QB, performed elusively and accurately against the Chargers. Derek Carr had 20 pass completion with 36 attempts for 186 yards and two touchdowns.
Raiders’ passing yards are significantly smaller compared to Chargers’. But, Las Vegas’ rushing game was through the roof. Out of the 346 total yards gained by the offense, 174 yards were collected through run plays. Running Back Josh Jacobs had 26 carries for 132 yards and one touchdown.
“I’ve never wanted a tie so bad.” – Justin Herbert
— PFF (@PFF) January 10, 2022
On the receiving end, Hunter Renfrow was a scoring machine. He scored two touchdowns with only four receptions. While on the Raiders’ defensive end, Casey Hayward had the only interception of the game and three tackles.
Despite the top Raiders performers, one player on the special team led the team into the postseason with a perfect 5-out-of-5 field goal. Daniel Carlson alone scored 17 points for the Raiders. He also contributed to nailing the winning field goal in the overtime.
— FanSided (@FanSided) January 10, 2022