Justin Herbert dove through the pile for a 1-yard touchdown in overtime to lift 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 inside the final two minutes, the ball came back to the 1-yard line to give Herbert a second attempt at the winning score.
The Raiders had taken the lead moments earlier on a 23-yard field goal from Daniel Carlson on the opening drive of overtime as their drive stalled out inside the Chargers’ 5-yard line. A pair of runs by Josh Jacobs were stuffed and a third down pass to fullback Alec Ingold was knocked down to force the Carlson field goal 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 strike down to the Las Vegas 2-yard line. The Chargers turned to three straight runs for Herbert with an unnecessary roughness call 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 delivered a blow to the Raiders’ playoff chances. They’re one colossal mistake from Gregg Williams away from a five-game losing streak.
But the Chargers tried to Charger the game away several times.
With the game tied 24-24 with just two minutes left in regulation, Chris Harris Jr. intercepted Mariota on a pass thrown behind Zay Jones to flip the script with two minutes remaining. Harris returned the pick to the Raiders’ 33-yard line before he was caught by Mariota.
Mariota was playing in place of an injured Derek Carr, who left the game on the second series of the night with a groin injury and would not return.
The Chargers would quickly go three-and-out that saw Justin Herbert sacked for a loss on third down to force a 51-yard field goal try. Michael Badgley missed the ensuing kick wide left to keep the game tied at 24-24 with 53 seconds left to play. It was Badgley’s ninth field goal miss of the season and 12th miss overall on 29 attempts, which are the most of any kicker in the league and his second miss on the night.
The Raiders would only be able to get just beyond midfield before trying to have Carlson attempt a 65-yard field goal to win the game. Instead, the hold was mishandled and A.J. Cole had to fall on it as the game headed to overtime.
Mariota had played well in relief of Carr for most of the night. He completed 17-of-28 passes for 226 yards with a touchdown and an interception along with a rushing touchdown and 88 yards on the ground.