Neither the Chargers nor the Raiders look like they’re playing for a tie, even though that result would get them both into the postseason.
Both teams scored in the last two minutes of the first half, but the Raiders’ touchdown gave them a 17-14 lead at halftime.
Chargers running back Austin Ekeler scored his second touchdown of the game to cap a 13-play, 90-yard drive that gave the club a four-point lead. Ekeler caught a screen behind the line of scrimmage and took it in for a 14-yard touchdown with 1:52 remaining in the first half.
But the Raiders responded well, converting a third-and-23 with running back Jalen Richard‘s run right to the sticks. Richard was initially ruled short but the play was overturned by the officials upon further review.
The Raiders then got a significant boost when Chargers defensive back Chris Harris was flagged for defensive pass interference in the end zone, even though receiver Zay Jones was nowhere close to where quarterback Derek Carr threw an uncatchable pass.
Nevertheless, the Raiders got the ball at the Chargers’ 1-yard line and running back Josh Jacobs took a handoff into the paint on the next play for a touchdown.
Jacobs has 20 yards on 10 carries with the score. Carr is 9-of-16 passing for 107 yards with a 12-yard touchdown to receiver Hunter Renfrow.
On the other side, quarterback Justin Herbert is 12-of-19 for 106 yards with a touchdown. Ekeler has been the star with 53 yards on nine carries, plus two catches for 28 yards.
Neither offense has been particularly good on third down, with Los Angeles going 2-of-5 and Las Vegas going 2-of-6.
If the Chargers win, they’ll play the Bills next week as the No. 6 seed. If the Raiders win, they’ll play the Bengals as the No. 5 seed.
If Sunday Night Football ends in a tie, the Raiders and Chargers will both make it to the postseason. But at least for now, it doesn’t look like that’s going to be the case.
The Chargers will have the ball first to start the second half.