The Los Angeles Chargers traveled to Las Vegas last night to face the Raiders on Thursday Night football. December 17th, 2020, or otherwise Week 15 of the 2020 regular season. The game had a lot of momentous swings but ended with a game winning drive from rookie Justin Herbert and the Chargers in overtime. The final score was 30 to 27 and the Chargers advanced to 5–9 and the Raiders dropped to 7–7.
Recap of the Los Angeles Chargers: The Chargers came out firing last night. Herbert started out the first quarter going eight for eight, for 97 yards, and a touchdown to veteran tight end, Hunter Henry on their first drive. In addition, Herbert closed out the half with another touchdown drive throwing a 26-yard pass to receiver, Tyron Johnson. The Chargers recorded 27 first downs and converted 7–12 attempts on third down throughout the game. The Chargers also put an impressive game winning drive together, for the second week in a row. In addition the Chargers defense deserves credit for the win. They played pretty well against the Raiders. They caused a very late turnover that set up a game winning field goal opportunity for Michael Badgley. Even though he missed the kick, the Chargers proved they had the ability to stop the Raiders. However, I think the most impressive part of the Chargers defense was their overtime stop in the RedZone. The Raiders moved down the field and got the ball to the Chargers’ 3-yard line. However, Los Angeles proved the value in bending and not breaking, and held them to a 26-yard field goal. Players who deserve shoutouts: Justin Herbert- Herbert’s stats speak for themselves. He recorded 314 passing yards, 3 total touchdowns, and no turnovers. However, something that goes beyond his stats that was crucial in this win was his composure. Great composure led him to deliver a 53-yard completion in overtime which set up his one-yard touchdown rush. Herbert is the real deal! Jalen Guyton- One five was all over the field and filled in particularly well for star receiver Keenan Allen who missed a lot of snaps due to a hamstring injury. Guyton caught 4 receptions for 91 yards. A season high for the undrafted receiver in 2019. Chris Harris Jr.-Recorded 5 total tackles and had a crucial interception that changed the momentum of the game. This interception likely could have ended the game if Badgley was hitting his field goals. Nick Vigil- Recorded 9 total tackles and a sack for the Chargers. The sack led to the Raiders kicking a field goal early on in the game.
Recap of the Las Vegas Raiders:
I respect Las Vegas for the way they played last night. They lost their star QB Derek Carr to a groin injury in the first quarter. They subbed in Oregon’s finest, Marcus Mariota who they signed this offseason to back up Carr. Gruden and the Raiders offense set up a great plan for Mariota which actually worked very well. Mariota and the offense focused more on rushing the ball, recording 173 rushing yards. 77 more rushing yards than their opponents. I personally did not think their offense or Mariota was the problem last night despite having the ball on the Chargers’ 3 yard line and ending up kicking a field goal in overtime. The main issue last night was the Raiders’ defense, especially pass defense. Herbert was letting the ball fly on the Raiders secondary and they had no solutions to stop it. The Raiders recorded 5 defensive penalties for 59 yards. Cornerback Trayvon Mullen could not catch a break last night, either getting burnt or causing a pass interference penalty. Not only was their secondary weak, but the Raiders defensive line could not get to the passer. They only recorded 1 sack all game and had very little passer disturbances. Their defense was solid on the Chargers rushing game, however, could not figure out ways to stop Herbert from letting the ball fly.
Players who deserve shoutouts:
Marcus Mariota- Mariota stepped up in a big game for the Raiders last night. Even though he threw the interception and the Raiders lost, he played very well given the circumstances. Mariota recorded 226 yards passing, 88 yards rushing, two total touchdowns, and one interception. Gruden was very impressed with Mariota’s performance last night, good to see Mariota back out on the field!
Darren Waller- Waller proved his worth with yet another amazing game on top of an amazing season. Waller caught 9 receptions for 150 yards and a touchdown. Waller’s athleticism and speed are very hard to guard and game plan against. He has been a top five tight end throughout this season, and I look forward to watching him develop with more experience.
Nick Kwiatkowski- Kwiatkowski recorded 10 total tackles last night for the Raiders defense. He was pretty much all over the field and tried to fill in wherever he could to help Las Vegas get the win. Kwiatkowski had a tough penalty in overtime however he still had a great performance last evening.
Corey Littleton- Littleton recorded 7 total tackles last evening for the Raiders. He did his part in their defense and tried to slow down the Charger’s offense. Littleton was a big reason the Chargers rushing numbers were so low, great performance from him.
Overall, it was a great game from both teams. The Chargers go to 5–9 and The Raiders fall to 7–7. The Raiders are still in the playoff hut despite the loss; however, it would take a lot for it to happen.
MVP of the Game: Justin Herbert, Quarterback, Los Angeles Chargers.