It shouldn’t be much of a surprise that the fate of the Las Vegas Raiders’ season came down to the final possession of a game.
Unlike their previous four games, Vegas wasn’t able to walk away with a win as they lost to the Cincinnati Bengals, 26-19, Saturday, Jan. 15 in the divisional round of the NFL Playoffs.
The Bengals snap a 31-year streak without a single playoff win. As for the Raiders, their 19-year streak without a playoff win will continue.
The Raider offense did a lot between the 20s but could only find the endzone one time in the game when quarterback Derek Carr hit wide receiver Zay Jones on a 14-yard pass with 13 seconds remaining in the first half to make it a 20-13 deficit for Vegas going into halftime.
This made for a busy day for the right foot of Raiders Kicker Daniel Carlson who went a perfect 4-for-4 on his field goal attempts while also making his only extra point attempt of the game.
Carlson had the game’s first points when he kicked a 47-yard field goal with 9:28 left in the first quarter to put Vegas up 3-0.
That would be the team’s only lead of the game.
Looking at the second half, there were no touchdowns scored on either side. Just one field goal was scored in the third quarter from Bengals kicker Evan McPherson.
There were nine combined points scored in the fourth quarter; on a field goal from Cincinnati and two from the Raiders.
When finding a particular area where Cincinnati outperformed Las Vegas, there weren’t many.
The Raiders gained more yards than the Bengals and also picked up more first downs.
The key area Las Vegas didn’t dominate was the turnover battle.
Quarterback Joe Burrow and Cincinnati protected the ball the full 60 minutes and walked away with zero turnovers committed while Carr fumbled in the first half to go along with his late interception.
Carr’s final statline of the season was 29-54 for 310 yards with a touchdown pass and an interception thrown.
“This is a group of men that really learned to care for each other,” interim head coach Rich Biscassia said as he reflected on his team and the year they’ve had.
Biscassia finished the season going 7-6 after taking over for former head coach Jon Gruden, who stepped down earlier in the season.
In their first playoff game, Burrow and rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase didn’t disappoint.
Burrow finished the afternoon completing 24 of his 34 pass attempts throwing for 244 yards and two touchdowns. Chase was equally as impressive with his performance as he was able to catch nine of those passes from Burrow for a total of 116 yards in the win.
They helped keep the Cincinnati season alive for another week with this win and will await their next opponent in the divisional round.
On the other hand, Las Vegas will turn it’s focus to the offseason, where some important decisions will have to be made.