Raiders make playoffs, boot Bolts in dramatic OT

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LAS VEGAS – The Raiders, after a season filled with an unusual amount of turmoil and adversity, are heading to the playoffs for the first time since 2016, just their second postseason appearance since playing in Super Bowl XXXVII after the 2002 season.

A white knuckle 35-32 overtime victory against AFC West rival Los Angeles Chargers Sunday night at a heady Allegiant Stadium got a wildcard spot for the Raiders and the No. 5 seed in the AFC.

The Raiders (10-7) now travel to meet AFC North champion Cincinnati Bengals (10-7) on Saturday at. 16:30 ET. The Bengals beat the Raiders 32-13 in Las Vegas on November 21st.

A 47-yard field goal from Daniel Carlson with no time on the clock in OT – after the teams swapped field goals to start the extended period – ended the match. It was the Raiders’ record sixth walk-off win of the season, the largest since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.

“We’ve been in this situation before,” said Raiders interim coach Rich Bisaccia. “Derek [Carr] have been in two-minute situations before; he has been in four minute situations before. Our defense has had to come up with stops at the end of the match. So you just can not say enough about how this team prepares … I just know they believe in each other when they go out there.

“They do not blink, they reset. They recover quickly.”

The Raiders will be the fourth playoff team to have a different coach in the off-season than in their season opener, with Bisaccia joining the 1961 Houston Oilers (Wally Lemm), the 1952 Los Angeles Rams (Hamp Pool) and the 1942 Chicago Bears (co. – coaches Hunk Anderson and Luke Johnsos), according to Elias Sports Bureau research.

Bisaccia acknowledged that the Raiders had talks to settle for a draw, which would have gotten both the Raiders and Chargers into the off-season.

“We ran the ball there [near the end of OT], and they did not time out, “said Bisaccia. So I guess they probably thought the same thing.

But a 10-yard Josh Jacobs run to the Chargers’ 29-yard line put Carlson up.

“We had to take the field goal and try to win it,” Bisaccia said. “But we certainly talked about it on the sidelines.”

Asked why he took a 38-second timeout to play in the OT, Charger coach Brandon Staley explained: “We had to get in the right grouping; we felt they would run the ball so we wanted ours. best 11 men. ran the defense in. Make that replacement so we could have a game where we would deepen the field goal. “

Carlson scored 40 out of 43 field goals this season (93.0%), the second-best field goal percentage among the three kickers who scored at least 40 field goals in a single season in the last 80 years, joining Neil Rackers (40-off-) 42, 95.2% in 2005) and David Akers (44-off-52, 84.6% in 2011), according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

In fact, Carlson missed as many FGAs as PATs this season.

The Chargers, who became the first team in the last 30 seasons to convert on the fourth down six times in a match, forced overtime by scoring 15 points in the last 4:28 of the regulation, including match touchdown and PAT without time on the clock.

The Raiders experienced a tumultuous regular season, from coach Jon Gruden’s resignation to wide receiver Henry Ruggs’ DUI and fatal car accident to cornerback Damon Arnette being released after making death threats in a viral video to even last week when rookie cornerback Nate Hobbs was arrested to DUI.

Las Vegas lost five out of six games that came out of its farewell week, but came back to win four in a row to close out the regular season and advance to the playoffs.

Carr, a second-round pick in 2014 who owns virtually every record in franchise history and set a new standard for single-season passes on Sunday night, will play in his first career after the season. He got a broken right leg in the penultimate game of the 2016 season when the Raiders, who then called Oakland home, finished 12-4. The Raiders’ playoff stay was short-lived at the time, with a 27-14 loss to the Houston Texans.

“I’m excited, thinking about the next team we play, and then everything hurts,” said Carr, who passed 186 yards and two touchdowns as he completed 20 of 36 attempts. “I just have this strange feeling in my heart like, ‘The task is not done.’ Like my favorite player, Kobe [Bryant] said: ‘Job not done.’

“It feels cool, it’s great, but … we have to play against a team that has already beaten us. So it’s going to be tough.”

Carr had the third-most regular season starts at QB without a playoff start in the Super Bowl era (127) after Ryan Fitzpatrick (147) and Archie Manning (139).

Jacobs referred to himself as the “closer” for the Raiders and begged offensive coordinator Greg Olson to give him the ball after the Chargers kicked a field goal to equalize the game in overtime.

“I said, ‘it’s time,'” said Jacobs, who rushed 23 of his career-high 132 yards in overtime as he played through a rib injury that left him listed as questionable on the injury report. “We got together, the offensive line, DC, everyone. And we just made it happen.”

In fact, the Raiders won their last four games by a total of 12 points, the lowest scoring margin in NFL history by a team to win its last four games, according to Elias. 1926 The Kansas City Cowboys won their last four games by a total of 16 points.

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