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Raiders top Chargers in OT thriller to clinch playoff spot, narrowly avoid wild tie scenario

The Las Vegas Raiders defeated the Los Angeles Chargers 35-32 in overtime to clinch a playoff spot Sunday night and avoid some extra drama with how the game could have turned out.

Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson hit two field goals in overtime to lift the Raiders to victory.

Coming into the game, Las Vegas and Los Angeles would have both made the playoffs if the game ended in a tie and it appeared it was going in that direction.

Justin Herbert led the Chargers on a dramatic comeback in the fourth quarter. He put together a 14-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Joshua Palmer with a completed two-point conversion. He would then lead a 19-play, 83-yard drive that ended with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams to tie the game.

With the game going into overtime, the Raiders struck first to go up three points. The Chargers would answer with a Dustin Hopkins field goal. Carlson would then get a chance to win the game and avoid the one of the craziest developments in recent NFL history and executed.

The 47-yard field goal put Las Vegas and the Pittsburgh Steelers into the playoffs and knocked the Chargers out.

Derek Carr told NBC’s Michelle Tafoya a tie wasn’t on his mind.

“We knew, no matter what, we didn’t want a tie. We wanted to win the football game. Obviously, if you tie you’re in an all of that. But my mindset all day, I was even texting with Aaron Rodgers this morning, my mindset was to make sure we were the only team moving on after this,” he said.

Carr said the Chargers calling a timeout before the team ran for a first down changed their strategy. The run would setup the Carlson game-winning kick.

Carr finished 20-for-36 with 186 passing yards and two touchdown passes. Josh Jacobs had 26 carries for 132 yards and a touchdown. Bryan Edwards led the Raiders with four catches for 63 yards. Hunter Renfrow caught both of Carr’s touchdown passes.

Herbert was 34-for-62 with 383 passing yards, three touchdown passes and an interception. Austin Ekeler had 64 yards on the ground on 16 carries with a rushing touchdown and a receiving touchdown. Williams finished with nine catches for 119 yards and a score. Palmer had four catches for 45 yards and a score.

Las Vegas will now go on the road to play the Cincinnati Bengals in the wild card round of the AFC playoffs.

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