Chargers Season Ended With Overtime Field Goal: By The Numbers

Zac Alfers
Los Angeles Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley. Photo Credit: Mike Nowak | Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley. Photo Credit: Mike Nowak | Los Angeles Chargers

Chargers Season Ended With Overtime Field Goal: By The Numbers

In one of the most exciting games of the year, the Los Angeles Chargers had their playoff hopes crushed and their season ended simultaneously following an agonizing defeat to the Las Vegas Raiders.

The Chargers needed a win or a tie to solidify a spot in the playoffs and came very close to doing so. Despite battling back from a late 15-point deficit in the fourth quarter and tying the game at the end of regulation with a 12-yard touchdown from receiver Mike Williams, the Bolts came up just short. Raiders’ kicker Daniel Carlson would nail his fifth field goal of the game from 47-yards out as the clock expired in overtime to send Las Vegas to the postseason and end the Chargers’ 2021 season.

As difficult as it is to admit, the Raiders played exceptionally well. Much improved over their performance back in Week 4. Las Vegas executed with the game on the line while the Chargers squandered several scoring opportunities and often shot themselves in the foot. Ten penalties for 108 yards can do that to a team and tends to derail momentum.

For just the second time in eight years, the Raiders are going to the playoffs. So, what exactly went wrong for the Bolts? Let’s look at the numbers.

TEN

The Raiders saw a dominant performance from their defensive line in this game and they made it very hard for quarterback Justin Herbert to find his rhythm. Los Angeles had very little success when trying deep shots down the field mainly because Herbert rarely had time for anything to develop past 10-15 yards. The Raiders pass rush racked up three sacks and TEN quarterback hits. Herbert had his jersey dirtied early in this one and was continuing to collect filth throughout the game as he could be seen frequently pulling grass out of his helmet. Not the greatest look for your franchise player.

A good amount of that pressure came from the right side of the Chargers’ offensive line, specifically at right tackle. Storm Norton was absolutely manhandled in this game by defensive end Maxx Crosby who finished with a monster stat line. Crosby tallied six tackles, two sacks, three tackles for loss, four quarterback hits, and broke up three passes. For whatever reason, the Chargers decided to keep Norton alone on an island against the NFL’s leader in quarterback pressures. The decision to not double team Crosby or at the very least gets a tight end or running back to chip him is a baffling one that did not do the Bolts any favors in this one.

FIFTEEN

After falling behind 10-0 to begin the night, Herbert was asked to throw a ton. He set a new career-high with 64 pass attempts in this game, 11 more than his previous mark. The increase in volume did not necessarily have productive results as the second-year signal-caller also set a new career-high with 30 incompletions. The Raiders defense had a major impact in that regard. Las Vegas finished with FIFTEEN passes defended in this game, ruthlessly batting balls down at the line of scrimmage and violently ripping the ball away from the Chargers’ receivers. Before Sunday night’s regular-season finale, the most pass breaks by a team in a single game was 12. In fact, out of the 272 regular-season games played this season, only ten teams have recorded double-digit pass breakups with the Raiders becoming the tenth on Sunday. Pretty impressive as much as it pains me to say.

SIXTY-SEVEN

While the Raiders pass rush got after the quarterback, their secondary also did a fantastic job taking away Herbert’s favorite targets. It really wasn’t until the final drive of the fourth quarter that either Williams or Keenan Allen made any meaningful plays. Through the Chargers’ first nine drives the duo was held to nine receptions on 18 targets for a mediocre total of SIXTY-SEVEN receiving yards and no touchdowns. Cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Casey Hayward were tremendous in coverage all game long with the pair combining for seven pass breakups between the two of them. Herbert was forced to go elsewhere with the football, and though tight end Jared Cook had a season-high 80 receiving yards, the Chargers struggled to string scoring drives together.

Even with the snail-slow start to this game, the pair really stepped up when it counted. Even though this game ended tragically, the performances from Williams and Allen in the final drive of regulation and overtime should not go unnoticed. During those last two Chargers drives, the superstar tandem hauled in six catches for 104 yards and a game-tying touchdown. Of those six catches, four went for first downs including three fourth-and-long conversions as well as a third-and-10 pickup. Los Angeles, unfortunately, couldn’t muster the full comeback, but these two receivers gave everything they had with the season on the line to give this team a chance. You can’t help but respect that effort.

NINE POINT EIGHT SIX

Speaking of slow starts, Raiders running back Josh Jacobs struggled to get going as well after totaling only 63 yards on his first 19 carries through the first four quarters of play. That’s a 3.3 yards per carry average, a threshold the Chargers have hit only five times this season in which the Bolts boast a 4-1 record. With the Raiders’ running attack seemingly bottled up, Los Angeles appeared to be in a fantastic position to pull out a win. That was before Jacobs decided to put on his best beast-mode impression and single-handedly took over in overtime. The Raiders managed two drives in the overtime period. During that short span, Jacobs more than doubled his offensive output as he added 69 yards on just seven carries for an imposing NINE POINT EIGHT SIX yards per carry. Jacobs iced the game with his final two carries of the night with an 18-yard gain followed by a 28-yard gain that set up the Carlson game-winner.

SEVEN

Now, this is a pro-Chargers site so enough of the sulking and time to end this article on a positive note. Lost in the sorrow of this unbearable defeat was the outstanding play of defensive end Uchenna Nwosu. Los Angeles came out very flat to begin the game but the inspiring play of Nwosu I think played a major factor in sparking their attempted comeback. Early on, it seemed Nwosu was the only Charger on the field playing with any type of visible emotion. He was a blur off the line, constantly making plays in the backfield and exciting his teammates with infectious celebrations after the fact. By the end of the night, the four-year veteran recorded a new career-high with SEVEN tackles including four tackles for loss and one sack. He also broke up a pass and added two quarterback hits.

Now it’s on the offseason with hopes of a brighter future, Bolt Fam. Keep it right here all offseason.

Los Angeles Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley. Photo Credit: Mike Nowak | Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley. Photo Credit: Mike Nowak | Los Angeles Chargers