The Raiders were gifted the game-tying touchdown in a Las Vegas thriller for the ages.
During a wild Week 15 that featured three overtime games, the NFL’s best game might have occurred in Sin City Sunday, as the Las Vegas Raiders took on the New England Patriots in a critical matchup that could go a long way in providing clarity to the AFC playoff picture.
The Raiders (6-8) held the lead for much of the game before the Patriots (7-7) railed and took the lead, 24-17, late in the fourth quarter. Needing an answer, the Raiders responded in a big way with their passing attack, as Derek Carr found Keelan Cole for the tying touchdown. Since all scoring plays are reviewed, the officials took a second look, and the replay showed that Cole’s toe touched the white line out of bounds. Despite the angle, the referees ruled the score good before the game flipped upside down entirely.
How did the Las Vegas Raiders stun the New England Patriots?
A wacky play could only involve the Raiders put this game in an all-time classic category. Instead of playing for overtime, the Patriots opted to run the football. After Jakobi Meyers was handed the ball from Rhamondre Stevenson, Meyers attempted to play hero and throw the ball back to Mac Jones. It backfired in the worst way, as ex-Patriot Chandler Jones intercepted the pass and returned it for the winning touchdown as time expired.
The victory kept the Raiders’ slim playoff chances alive, while the Patriots were officially dashed from the AFC East title race. What could have been the NFL’s fourth overtime game of the weekend ultimately became a play that will be talked about for years to come and may change the direction of both franchises as we currently know them to be.
Any given Sunday, anything is possible.