The "Tie Game": Breaking down Raiders v.s. Chargers
The final game of 2021's regular season was breath-taking, thrilling and weird all at the same time. Both teams were fighting for one of the last wild card slots heading into the last week, and in a divisional battle like this tensions were as high as they possibly be.
To make matters even more dramatic, with an Indianapolis Colts loss earlier in the day, one of the most interesting scenarios was made possible to clinch playoff berths. Both the Chargers and Raiders entered this game with a 9-7 record, which at the time was good enough for the 6th and 7th seed, except the Steelers we're sitting at 9-7-1 ready to jump over the loser of this game.
But what if there was no loser, or winner?
This game will forever be known as the "Tie Game" as the implications of a tie would send both teams to the playoffs, making it increasingly likely both sides would be conservative to not lose to the point they might just play for a tie. Chris Collinsworth was a member of the color commentary team for this game and his suspicions of this scenario were made clear during the broadcast.
What made matters even more interesting was the ending to regulation. After the Raiders seemed to have sealed the game going up 29-14 with little over 6 minutes left in the game, Justin Herbert would not say die. He led two consecutive touchdown drives and executed a 2-pt conversion, his second being a 19-play drive in two minutes and six seconds to tie the game with zeros on the clock.
The game going into overtime after Las Vegas was expected to win only made a tie seem more logical. Surely the team would run the clock out so as not to lose the last playoff spot, and both teams did just that. After each side got a field goal, the Raiders had the ball with time expiring in overtime and Josh Jacobs must not have gotten the memo. With 58 of his 132 rushing yards coming in ovvertime, Jacobs was able to set up a 47-yard field goal with two seconds left.
Chargers fans, Steelers fans and sports bettors around the world examined their tv's as if they were seeing Narnia.
As tie ran out on the "Tie Game" in Las Vegas between two division rivals both looking to make the playoffs, Daniel Carlson had the last laugh drilling his 9th game winning kick of the season, sending the Raiders to the playoffs as the 6th seed and leaving the 7th for the Steelers.