Justin Herbert dived into the stack for a 1-yard touchdown in overtime to bring the Los Angeles Chargers to a 30-27 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday night.
Herbert had fumbled on the previous play on a similar attempt to dive over the line of scrimmage only for the ball to be recovered by Los Angeles in the end zone. But since only the fumbler can advance a fumble in the final two minutes, the ball returned to the 1-yard line to give Herbert a second scoring attempt.
The Raiders had taken the lead moments earlier on a 23-yard field goal from Daniel Carlson in the first practice of overtime as their practice stalled inside the Chargers’ 5-yard line. Two points from Josh Jacobs were filled and a third pass to fullback Alec Ingold was knocked down to force Carlson’s basket as the Raiders took a 27-24 lead.
After a third defensive pass interference call of the night against Trayvon Mullen, Herbert hit Jalen Guyton for a 53-yard shot to the Las Vegas 2-yard line. The Chargers turned to three straight runs for Herbert with an unnecessary roughness appeal Nick Kwiatkoski moving the ball to the 1 before Herbert’s dive into the end zone.
Herbert completed 22 of 32 passes for 314 yards and two touchdowns for the Chargers.
The loss dealt a blow to the Raiders’ chances in the playoffs. It’s a colossal Gregg Williams mistake away from a five-game losing streak.
But the Chargers tried to load the game several times.
With the game tied 24-24 with just two minutes to go in regulation, Chris Harris Jr. intercepted Mariota on a pass thrown behind Zay Jones to turn the story around two minutes to go. Harris returned the pick to the Raiders 33-yard line before being caught by Mariota.
Mariota was playing in place of an injured Derek Carr, who left the game in the night’s second set with a groin injury and would not return.
The Chargers would quickly make a trio, which saw Justin Herbert sacked for a third down loss to force a 51-yard field goal try. Michael Badgley missed the resulting wide left kick to keep the game tied at 24-24 with 53 seconds left. It was Badgley’s ninth failure of the season and 12th overall failure in 29 attempts, which is the best of any kicker in the league and his second failure on the night.
The Raiders could only get past midfield before trying to get Carlson to attempt a 65-yard field goal to win the game. Instead, the hold was mismanaged and AJ Cole had to stumble over it as the game headed into extra time.
Mariota had played well in Carr’s relief for most of the night. He completed 17 of 28 passes for 226 yards with one touchdown and one interception with a rushing touchdown and 88 rushing yards.