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The Los Angeles Chargers are now 5-9 after a wacky finish against the Las Vegas Raiders (7-7) on Thursday night. The 30-27 game was pushed to overtime, but the crazy back-and-forth started long before extra minutes.
First of all, Derek Carr went down near the end of the first quarter with a groin injury, and backup Marcus Mariota took over from there. He looked pretty good overall, but it was a strange performance from both teams.
A late-game interception from Mariota put the Chargers in a position to win near the end of regulation. Instead, kicker Michael Badgley missed a 51-yard field goal to give Las Vegas the ball back with some time left.
The Raiders moved the football enough to give their own kicker, Daniel Carlson, a chance at a record-setting 64-yard field goal, but of course, that didn’t work out either after a botched snap.
Las Vegas got the ball to start things off in overtime and drove 70 yards downfield on 15 plays. The end result was kicking a 23-yard field goal to take a 27-24 lead.
Awesome, this game is starting to look a little normal again, right? Wrong.
Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert hit Jalen Guyton on a 53-yard strike soon after, and that put the offense down on the two-yard line going in. Once again, a pretty wild play in how it unfolded.
The next sequence included a “lowering the helmet” penalty, a fumble into the end zone by Herbert that was called back due to something about forward progress and a crazy final play that saw the rookie signal caller take in a score on an unlikely second-effort.
— NFL (@NFL) December 18, 2020
I don’t even know if you’re still following. I’m still confused, and I just watched it.
Overall, this game included boneheaded errors from a few players, but mostly the coaches. It’s still difficult to understand how Anthony Lynn keeps trucking along, but the team is on its first two-game win streak of the season, I guess.
Here is what we do know.
First, Herbert continues to look like a future star in this league. He finished with 328 total yards, three total touchdowns and zero turnovers. This was also the second consecutive week that Herbert has led his team on a game-winning touchdown drive.
Herbert has also broken the NFL rookie record for most touchdown passes in a season.
Secondly, Mariota wasn’t necessarily perfect, but he still looked really good. He threw for 226 yards, one touchdown and one interception while adding another 88 yards and a score on the ground. If Carr is forced to miss some time, Las Vegas is in good hands.
I guess we can go to bed now.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.