The Chargers drove down the field late in the fourth quarter. There were 25 seconds left, and the Bolts had the ball on the Las Vegas 20. Rookie quarterback Justin Herbert dropped back and found Mike Williams, who was hit out of bounds, but the ref signaled to keep the clock rolling. Herbert ran up and spiked it with six seconds left.
"I was surprised the clock kept running," said head coach Anthony Lynn.
The Bolts had time for two plays.
First one, Herbert drops back, throws a fade route to Williams, who comes down with it, but loses control when he comes down. Defensive back Isaiah Johnson was all over him as well. Williams was injured on the play.
They had time for one more play. They had four receivers on the left with 6'9 tight end Donald Parham on the right. They go with another fade route, but this time to their tight end. He comes down with the catch, and the Chargers win the game.
While they start celebrating, the referees decide to take a look.
After looking at it on the big board, the Raiders start celebrating while the Chargers put their head down. The video shows that Parham lost control of the ball when he came down. Johnson was covering him, so the defender comes up clutch for the Silver and Black.
"I thought it was a touchdown, but they overturned," said Lynn.
After the game, Lynn mentioned that the play was designed as an "option play" for his rookie quarterback to look at the coverage and decide where to go with the ball.
"That's one of those plays that if we get a one on one matchup with Donald Parham, we're going to throw that," Herbert explained. "It's unfortunate we didn't get to score on that play, but I'm going to make that play. I'm going to throw it to him 100 times again, and I know he's going to step up, and I know that he's going to make up one."
The Raiders won 31-26. The Chargers fall to 2-6 on the season and with a lot more questions than answers.
This was just a different loss for the Chargers. They have times when they play great and others where they can't figure it out.
The defense had a mixed game. They started off giving up 97 yards on the ground in the first half. They gave up a 23-yard touchdown run to Devontae Booker in the first quarter. Two drives later, they allowed a 14-yard touchdown run for Josh Jacobs.
The Chargers offense answered both of those touchdown scores with their own. After the Booker run, the Bolts drove down the field and faced a fourth and one at the Vegas five-yard line. They decided to pitch it to Kalen Ballage, who ran it into the end zone for the touchdown. He was activated on Saturday and was a welcomed surprise for the Bolts offense. He carried the ball 15 times for 69 yards and that touchdown.
"I pride myself on being prepared," said Ballage." So even though it's kind of a short notice thing. The last couple of weeks, I've put the work in and try to make sure I know my stuff. So, when I get out there, I'm reliable."
After the Jacobs touchdown, Herbert drove his offense to the Las Vegas 27-yard line. He faked the handoff, look through his progressions, and found a wide-open Keenan Allen, who walked into the end zone. Allen had 103 yards on nine catches on the day.
The next Raiders possession, quarterback Derek Carr dropped back and had the ball knocked out of his hand by Jerry Tillery, who recovered it. Tillery started in place for injured Joey Bosa.
Michael Badgley came in with eight seconds left and made the 45-yard field goal. Bolts had the 17-14 lead heading into halftime. That would be their only lead.
In the second half, the Raiders came out throwing. Carr targeted cornerback Casey Hayward twice. In the first one, he found Nelson Agholor for a 45-yard touchdown over Hayward. That gave the Raiders a lead they wouldn't lose. On their next drive, the Raiders faced third down when Carr threw it up to Hunter Renfrow for a 53-yard reception, who had a trailing Hayward behind him.
The Chargers defense would settle down after this. They would make the Raiders offense punt the next two times.
In between the two drives, Herbert found fullback Gabe Nabers for a touchdown. Herbert was hurt on the play, so he wasn't able to try for the two-point conversion. Tyrod Taylor came in at quarterback. Taylor rolled to his right then took off running towards the left; he was able to juke out a couple of players until he was met by Raiders linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski. Lynn said it was an option play as well.
As previously stated, the Bolts defense was able to stop the Raiders offense with around eight minutes left in the game. AJ Cole punts the ball to KJ Hill, who fumbles it, and the visiting team recovers. They drained another 3:30 off the clock, and Daniel Carlson hit the 31-yard field goal.
Mistake come back to hurt the team.
"The young man has been good all year," explained Lynn about Hill's fumble. "That mistake today hurt us. I thought our defense stepped up and held them to a field goal. The team bounced back. We went back and forth all day. This is a very resilient football team. They competed for four quarters, and sh** they deserve to win. I am just disappointed I couldn't help them get that win today."