Las Vegas Raiders outlast Chargers in instant classic

Las Vegas Raiders outlast Chargers in instant classic

As simple as it sounded, it wasn't going to be easy for the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers when they faced off Sunday night to provide the final piece to the NFL playoff picture.

The two teams needed 70 minutes of football to decide who would get the final spot in the AFC playoffs, and it was ultimately the Raiders who survived an instant classic, winning 35-32 in overtime.

The Raiders appeared to have the game in complete control, nursing a 29-14 lead with less than five minutes to play in the fourth quarter before Justin Herbert engineered a miraculous comeback.

Herbert tossed two touchdown passes in that time, connecting on multiple fourth-down attempts on the final two drives to force overtime.

After both teams exchanged field goals in overtime, the Raiders had possession last, and it appeared for a moment that they might be content with taking a tie, which would have ensured not only their own spot in the playoffs but the Chargers' as well.

But after converting a third-down rushing attempt with Josh Jacobs, they kicked a field goal with two seconds remaining to punch their ticket and leave the Chargers on the outside looking in.

If this game had ended in a tie, the Pittsburgh Steelers would have been eliminated from the playoff picture, with the Chargers and Raiders claiming the two final wild-card slots.

Instead, the Raiders will head to Cincinnati to play the Bengals, and Derek Carr will make his first career playoff start. The Steelers will head to Kansas City to play the Chiefs.

With such a wild finish to not only this game but also the 2021 NFL season, there was plenty of reaction on social media.