Raider playoff chances bleak after loss against Chargers
After their most recent loss, the Las Vegas Raiders’ playoff chances are looking bleak.
Vegas loss Thursday, Dec. 17 to the Los Angeles Chargers, 30-27 in overtime, from Allegiant Stadium to fall to 7-7 on the year.
The team now has a 2-5 record on its new home field.
It was only the second divisional loss for the Raiders, the other came at the hands of the division winners, the Kansas City Chiefs.
To start the season, Vegas went 6-3 but have now gone 1-4 in its last five games.
On the other hand, it was the first win in the division for the Chargers since 2018.
Coming into the game, FiveThirtyEight gave the Raiders a 15 percent chance to make the playoffs.
Win a win, Football Power Index gave the team a 29 percent chance to make it.
However with the loss, Vegas’ playoff chances are now a meek five percent.
The Raiders will host the Miami Dolphins Saturday, Dec. 26 in a game with huge playoff implications.
Kickoff is scheduled for 5:15 p.m.
Following the team’s last loss to Indianapolis, head coach Jon Gruden opted to fire his defensive coordinator, Paul Guenther.
He was replaced with league-staple Rod Marinelli.
Marinelli takes over a team with the 25th ranked pass and rush defense, resulting in the overall defense being ranked 25th in the NFL.
Prior to Thursday’s game, Vegas ranked third-worst in the league allowing 30.1 points per game.
It was the ninth time this season, the Raider defense allowed 30 points.
Los Angeles quarterback Justin Herbert went 22-for-32 in the win, passing for 314 yards and two touchdowns.
He is now tied for most touchdown passes by a rookie quarterback with 27, a mark set by Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield.
Vegas was hampered with injuries, especially on the defensive end with five starters missing in action.
Second-year cornerback Trayvon Mullen was flagged for four penalties including defensive pass interference and facemask calls.
As a team, the Raiders allowed 96 total rushing yards which snapped a streak of four straight games of allowing 100-plus.
This includes allowing 418 yards in the last two games and 651 yards in the last four games.
The defense held the Chargers to under 40 yards through the first three quarters of the game before allowing 45 yards on three running plays in the fourth quarter.
Raider quarterback Derek Carr was hurt on the second drive of the game after injuring his left groin scrambling toward the end zone.
Carr had thrown for over 3,300 yards with 24 touchdowns to seven interceptions.
He left the game with three completions on five attempts for 53 yards.
Former second overall pick, Marcus Mariota, took over for Carr after starting the season on injured-reserve.
Mariota went 5-for-5 on his first drive, throwing for 80 yards and a touchdown to tight end Darren Waller, who had 150 yards on nine receptions and that scoring grab.
He finished the night going 17-for-28 for 226 yards with a touchdown and an interception leading touchdown drives of 10 and 19 plays.
The 19-play drive lasted nearly 11 minutes.
In overtime, he orchestrated another drive that was 14 plays and went 70 yards in almost seven minutes resulting in a made field goal.
Mariota added another dynamic with his feet adding 88 yards and a touchdown on nine carries.
Vegas rushed for 173 total yards as a team including starter Josh Jacobs rushing for 76 yards on 26 carries and a touchdown.
Jacobs’ longest run of the day was 20 yards, which means he averaged 2.2 yards on every other carry.
This season he is averaging 3.7 yards per carry after averaging 4.8 ypc last year as a rookie.
Las Vegas allows 11-plus fourth quarter points, the most in the last 70 years.
Los Angeles kicker Michael Badgley gave the Raiders every multiple chances to take control of the game after missing two field goals in the last seven minutes of regulation.
Badgley has nine field goal misses this season, the most in the NFL.
Before this outcome, the Chargers were 5-16 in one-possession games over the last two seasons.