The Los Angeles Chargers fell to the Las Vegas Raiders, 35-32, in Week 18 of the 2021 season.
The Chargers won the toss and chose to defer, giving Derek Carr and company the ball to start the game.
On 3rd-and-10 Carr delivered a pass to tight end Foster Moreau for a 44-yard gain. Chargers safety Nassir Adderley was able to catch up to Moreau and punched the ball out of the tight end's hands to forced a fumble, but it went out of bounds and Vegas kept possession. On 3rd-and-goal, safety Derwin James Jr. put pressure on Carr and rookie cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. broke up the pass at the goal line. Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson kicked a 24-yard field goal to put the Raiders up 3-0 on their opening-drive.
On the Chargers' opening-drive, the Raiders forced the Bolts to punt the ball away after three plays. The Chargers defense was then able to force the Raiders to punt the ball away on their next drive, but as wide receiver Andre Roberts looked to make a move on the punt return, Roberts fumbled and the Raiders recovered the ball on the Chargers 23-yard line.
On their next drive, The Raiders elected to go for it on 4th-and-2 and Carr was able to connect with wide receiver Zay Jones for two yards and a first down. A few plays later, Carr connected with wide receiver Hunter Renfrow for a 12-yard receiving touchdown that put the Raiders up 10-0 after the PAT with 3:20 left in the first quarter.
On the Bolts ensuing drive, facing a 3rd-and-5 Justin Herbert fired a pass intended for Mike Williams but the pass was tipped in the air and caught by running back Austin Ekeler for a 14-yard gain. On 3rd-and-17, an illegal contact penalty was called on former Chargers cornerback Brandon Facyson, giving the Bolts another first down. A 19-yard completion to Jared Cook as time expired in the first quarter brought the ball to the Las Vegas 38-yard line.
Facing a 4th-and-2 on the Raiders 19-yard line, Herbert connected with wide receiver Jalen Guyton for a five-yard gain. On the next play, Ekeler burst through the line of scrimmage and sprinted for the end zone for a 14-yard rushing touchdown. Kicker Dustin Hopkins made the PAT that made the score 10-7, Raiders, early in the second quarter.
Facing a 2nd-and-10 on the Raiders' next drive, Chargers OLB Uchenna Nwosu was able to get to Carr for his first sack of the night and a loss of eight yards. A few plays later, the Raiders were forced to punt the ball back to the Chargers.
The Bolts started their next drive on their own 10-yard line but big plays from Ekeler, Guyton and an 18-yard completion to Cook put the Bolts in Raiders territory. Running back Justin Jackson put together an 11-yard run followed by an eight-yard rush to put the Bolts in the red zone. On the first play after the two-minute warning, Herbert found Ekeler on a screen pass that he took for 14-yards for his second touchdown of the night and 20th touchdown of the season. The score gave the Bolts their first lead of the night, making it 14-10 after the PAT from Hopkins.
Ekeler's 20 touchdowns on the season tied Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson for the second-most touchdowns in a single season in Chargers history.
The Raiders got the ball back with just over one minute left in the first half. Facing a 3rd-and-23, Carr handed the ball off to Jalen Richard and he took it up the middle for a 23-yard gain, enough for a first down after review. A few plays later, Carr launched a pass in the end zone, but cornerback Chris Harris Jr. was called for a defensive pass interference that moved the ball to the one-yard line. On the next play, running back Josh Jacobs found the end zone on a one-yard rushing touchdown that gave the Raiders the lead back, 17-14.
The Chargers will get the ball to start the second half.
The Chargers received the ball to start the second half and were able to move the ball to the Raiders 33-yard line behind a 42-yard pass play from Herbert to Cook. A few plays later, Hopkins came on to attempt a 51-yard field goal that would tie the game, but Hopkins missed the field goal, giving the ball back to the Raiders.
The Bolts were able to get the back quickly after forcing the Raiders to go three-and-out on their next drive. With the ball back in their hands and on their own 18-yard line the Bolts elected to go for it on 4th-and-1 but Ekeler was stopped on the run for a loss of two yards and a turnover on downs.
The Bolts defense was able to hold the Raiders in the red zone and Vegas settled for the field goal. The 31-yard field goal from Carlson made the score 20-14, Raiders with just over eight minutes left to play in the third.
The Raiders got the ball back after forcing the Bolts to go three-and-out and broke into Chargers territory with a 30-yard pass play from Carr to Bryan Edwards. A few plays later, a 15-yard rush from quarterback Marcus Mariota put the Raiders on the Chargers eight-yard line. The Raiders ended the third quarter with a run play from Jacobs to the two-yard line.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Mariota held the ball and was rushing towards the end zone, but safety Alohi Gillman was able to make a diving tackle and stop Mariota short. However, on the next play, Carr connected with Renfrow for a two-yard touchdown pass. The Raiders elected to go for two, but their attempt failed keeping the score at 26-14.
A few plays into the Bolts ensuing drive, Herbert faced pressure and fired a pass down field that was intercepted by Casey Hayward Jr. at the Las Vegas 36-yard line for no gain. The Bolts were able to force the Raiders to settle for a field goal after linebacker Drue Tranquill stopped Renfrow short of the first down marker on 3rd-and-5. Carlson came on to attempt the 52-yard field goal and made it, making the score 29-14 with 8:29 left to play in the game.
On the Bolts' next drive, an 18-yard pass to Mike Williams sparked the Bolts offense. Two plays later, Herbert fired a pass to Guyton for 14 yards that brought the ball to the Las Vegas 22-yard line. On 4th-and-6, Herbert found Williams on the ground and he stretched for the first down. The ruling on the field was that Williams was short of a first down, but head coach Brandon Staley challenged the play and the call was reversed, giving the Chargers the first down at the 12-yard line.
A few plays later as the Chargers faced a 4th-and-21 with their season on the line, Herbert fired a pass to rookie wide receiver Joshua Palmer for a 23-yard touchdown pass that made the score 29-20, Raiders. The Chargers elected to go for two and Herbert found Ekeler for a successful two-point attempt that made the score 29-22 with just over four minutes left in the game.
On the Raiders' ensuing drive and facing a 3rd-and-6, OLB Joey Bosa was able to get to Carr and force a strip sack that was recovered by the Raiders.
On the next Chargers drive, facing a 4th-and-10 on the Chargers 17 yard line, Herbert connected with Allen for an 11-yard gain. Facing another 4th-and-10, Herbert's pass intended for Cook fell incomplete but a holding penalty called on the Raiders gave the Bolts another first down at the Chargers 28-yard line. A few plays later, Herbert connected with Allen again for a 14-yard catch on 3rd-and-10, enough for a fresh set of downs. With 22 seconds left and facing a fourth down once again, Herbert connected with Williams for 14 yards and a first down.
A 17-yard catch from Guyton brought the ball to the 12-yard line after the catch was reviewed. With five seconds left, Herbert fired a bullet in the end zone and connected with Williams for a 12-yard touchdown. The PAT tied the game 29-29 as the game head into overtime.
The Chargers lost the toss, giving the Raiders the ball to start overtime. Carr and company were able to drive to the Chargers 22-yard line but the Bolts defense forced the Raiders to settle for a field goal. Carlson made the 40-yard field goal that made the score 32-29.
In need of a score to extend overtime, the Bolts faced a 4th-and-9. Herbert found Williams and No. 81 took off for a 47-yard gain that brought the ball to the Las Vegas 27-yard line. A few plays later, Hopkins came on to attempt the 41-yard field goal and tie the game and was able to make the field goal to extend overtime.
On the Raiders' ensuing drive, Carr connected with Jones on 3rd-and-8 for the first down at the Chargers 45-yard line that brought the game to the two-minute warning.
With two seconds left in the game, Carlson made the 47-yard field goal that ended the game with the Raiders winning, 35-32.