The Las Vegas Raiders are heading to the playoffs for the first time in five years after beating the Los Angeles Chargers in overtime last night. But interim head coach Rich Bisaccia could have gotten his team in even if they had tied - and it almost did.
Speaking to the media after the win, Bisaccia said that the Raiders were considering letting the clock run out in overtime and letting the game end in a tie. He said that the controversial timeout by Chargers head coach Brandon Staley opened the door for the Raiders to go for the win.
“It was [a] conversation,” Bisaccia said, via ProFootballTalk. “We were talking about it... We ran the ball there, and they didn’t call a timeout. So I think they were probably thinking the same thing. And then we had the big run. When we got the big run, it got us in advantageous field goal position... We were certainly talking about it on the sideline. We wanted to see if they were gonna take a timeout or not on that run. They didn’t, so we thought they were thinking the same thing. And then we popped the run in there and gave us a chance to kick the field goal to win it. So, we were certainly talking about it.”
Had the clock run out, the Raiders and Chargers both would have made the playoffs. But instead, the Chargers opened the door for the Raiders to get into field goal position and knock them out altogether.
The Chargers' loss is the Raiders' gain. Rich Bisaccia and the Raiders now head to Cincinnati to take on the Cincinnati Bengals rather than to Kansas City to face the rival Chiefs.
That may or may not be an easier matchup for the Raiders though. They were hammered by the Bengals earlier in the season - in their own building.
But if the Raiders do get the win, they can thank Brandon Staley for effectively gifting them the matchup.
Would the game really have ended in a tie without that controversial timeout?