Derek Carr Says Chargers' Late Timeout in OT 'Definitely' Changed Raiders' Strategy

Doric SamJanuary 10, 2022

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) throws against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Ellen Schmidt)
AP Photo/Ellen Schmidt

During the Las Vegas Raiders' overtime win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, it looked as though the two teams were headed for a tie, which would have sent both of them to the postseason.

But the Chargers took a late timeout while the Raiders driving down the field. Two plays later, Daniel Carlson kicked the game-winning field goal.

After the game, Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr told NBC Sports' Michele Tafoya that Los Angeles' timeout "definitely" affected his team's strategy. But he added that the Raiders never intended on leaving Sunday's game with a tie.

"We knew, no matter what, we didn't want to tie. We wanted to win the football game. ... My mindset was to make sure that we were the only team moving on after this," Carr said.

NFL Network @nflnetwork

“We knew no matter what we didn’t want to tie, we wanted to win the football game.” <br><br>🗣<a href="https://twitter.com/derekcarrqb?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@derekcarrqb</a> <br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LACvsLV?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LACvsLV</a> on NBC <a href="https://t.co/BYVf1TDNYk">pic.twitter.com/BYVf1TDNYk</a>

Raiders interim head coach Rich Bisaccia told reporters after the game that his team considered playing for the tie, but a 10-yard rush by Josh Jacobs after the timeout that set up Carlson's winning kick was what changed their minds.

Carr completed 20-of-36 passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday's win, which was the team's fourth straight victory to end the season with a 10-7 record. Jacobs rushed for 132 yards and a score. It's the Raiders' first postseason berth since 2016.

It's interesting to wonder what would have happened if not for Los Angeles calling timeout. Moments before the clock was stopped, Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert was seen on camera saying, "I've never wanted a tie so bad." Now, the season is over for one of the NFL's brightest young stars.

While it should not be assumed that Las Vegas was going to let time run out if not for the Chargers' timeout, Los Angeles head coach Brandon Staley came under major fire for his decision.

Jeff Howe @jeffphowe

For inexplicable reasons, as the Raiders appeared willing to run out the clock and play for a tie -- getting both teams in the playoffs -- Brandon Staley called timeout with 5 seconds on the play clock and 38 seconds remaining in overtime. It cost the Chargers their season.

Bucky Brooks @BuckyBrooks

That’s coaching malpractice. The Raiders were squatting on the ball and content to run the clock out.. You take a timeout and give up a bit run the next play. That hero stuff is for the movies… Brandon Staley should catch some heat for being overly aggressive..

The Pittsburgh Steelers benefited greatly from Sunday's result and are now in the postseason after going 9-7-1 this year.

The Raiders will take on the Cincinnati Bengals in the Wild Card Round. The Steelers are matched up against the two-time defending AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs.