The Lightning Rod: Replay Review Sinks Chargerscsudhbulletin November 14, 2020 0 COMMENTS
The dark side remains with the Chargers as they suffer another gut-wrenching loss. Photo by Glenn Marshall.
By Jeremy Gonzalez, Sports Editor
Like I said in last week’s recap, the Los Angeles Chargers seem to find new ways to lose close football games. And the narrative continued this past week, with the Las Vegas Raiders reaping the benefits of another heartbreaking finish for the Bolts.
Quarterback Justin Herbert’s pass to tight end Donald Parham Jr. for a 4-yard touchdown on the final play of the game was overturned as the replay review showed the ball had slipped and hit the ground, giving Las Vegas a 31-26 victory.
“They run on the field, rightfully so,” said Raiders quarterback Derek Carr as he recalled the final moments from the sideline. “They think the game’s over on the last play. Then they go review it and our guys rush the field and go nuts. It’s an emotional rollercoaster.”
Herbert went 26 of 42, throwing for 326 yards and two touchdowns for the Bolts, who had a game come down to the final play for a second straight week only to come away with a loss.
All six of Los Angeles’ defeats this season have been by a combined 24 points, with all the games being decided by seven points or fewer. This loss to the Raiders extends the Chargers losing streak against AFC West opponents to nine games.
“Right now we’ve been kicked in the gut six times, and that’s six times too many for me,” said Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn following the nail-biting loss.
Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson kicked a 31-yard field goal to give Las Vegas a five point lead, giving Los Angeles the ball on its own 25 with 4:37 left in the game. Herbert led the drive down to the Las Vegas 4-yard line, giving the team two shots at the end zone before the end of regulation.
Herbert tried to throw a fade to receiver Mike Williams in the back of the end zone, but defensive back Isaiah Johnson knocked it loose for an incompletion. On the final play, Herbert found Parham on the right corner of the end zone, but the video replay determined the tight end did not maintain possession of the ball.
“It’s always tough thinking you’ve won the game,” Herbert said in the postgame press conference. “We have to keep putting up points and do our job to keep moving the ball. We didn’t put up enough points today.
Las Vegas had trailed 17-14 at halftime thanks to quick scoring by the Chargers, who scored a touchdown to tie the game at 14 and then recovered a fumble at the Raiders 27-yard line to set up kicker Michael Badgley for a 45-yard field goal to take the lead.
The Raiders responded by scoring two touchdowns on their first two drives of the second half. Carr dialed up the launch codes and found receiver Nelson Agholor on a 45-yard strike for the first TD. Carr then found tight end Darren Waller for a 3-yard score to put Las Vegas ahead 28-17 with 7:49 remaining in the third quarter. Carr finished 13 of 23 for 163 yards and two touchdowns.
Badgley’s second field goal brought the Chargers within 28-20. On their next possession, Herbert found Gabe Nabers on a screen pass for a 4-yard touchdown, but failed to complete the 2-point conversion with 9:12 remaining in the game.
Starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga suffered a back injury on the first series of the game and did not return. Running back Justin Jackson sustained a knee injury during the first quarter. Defensive end Joey Bosa and running back Troymaine Pope were both inactive for this game with concussions.
UPDATE IN THE STANDINGS
After their Week 9 matchup, the Raiders and Chargers remained in the same places. Las Vegas sits in second place with a 5-3 overall record, 2-0 division record. Los Angeles remains in fourth place with a 2-6 overall record, 0-3 conference record. The Chargers remain only one game behind third place Denver Broncos since Denver lost their Week 9 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons, moving their overall record to 3-5. Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs took care of business as they defeated the Carolina Panthers, moving to an 8-1 overall record with a firm grasp of the division.
Raiders: Las Vegas heads back home for a two-game homestand against the other two divisional opponents. The team welcomes Denver in Week 10 before hosting Kansas City in Week 11 for Sunday Night Football.
Chargers: Los Angeles will travel to Florida where they will face a hot Miami Dolphins team that is competing for a wildcard spot. This game will be a battle of top 10 picks, as both rookie quarterbacks were selected high in April’s draft. Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was selected fifth overall and Herbert was selected sixth overall by the Chargers.