Derek Carr Says Chargers Overtime Timeout vs. Raiders Changed Strategy to Play for Tie

Derek Carr speaks postgame on NBC after the Raiders' 35-32 overtime victory .
Derek Carr speaks postgame on NBC after the Raiders' 35-32 overtime victory . / NBC Sports

The "dream" scenario was just seconds away from coming to life.

Following the Jacksonville Jaguars' upset victory over the Indianapolis Colts as two-plus touchdown underdogs at WynnBET, the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers would have both made the postseason if the Sunday Night Football matchup were to end in a tie.

Instead, the Raiders ended up kicking a game-winning field goal from Daniel Carlson to send their division rivals home; claiming the No. 5 seed in the AFC and in the process, giving the Pittsburgh Steelers the final Wild Card spot as the 7-seed.

But were the Raiders seriously consider playing for the tie with just seconds left to go?

With 38 seconds left in overtime, Chargers head coach Brandon Staley made the questionable decision to call a timeout on 3rd and 4.

Staley in his postgame press conference stated that the timeout was to get the best possible defensive personnel on the field, knowing that the Raiders were within field goal range if they were going to play for the win.

On the next play, Raiders running back Josh Jacobs bursted through for a 10-yard gain, getting the football to the Chargers' 28-yard line and setting up the game-winner from Carlson.

In the postgame interview on NBC, Michele Tafoya asked Raiders quarterback Derek Carr point-blank about the Chargers' timeout in that scenario, and whether that changed their team's strategy.

Here's the full quote for complete context:

"It definitely did, obviously... But we knew no matter what we didn't want a tie, we wanted to win the football game. Obviously if you tie you're in and all those things, but my mindset all day, I was even texting with Aaron Rodgers this morning... My mindset was to make sure that we were the only team moving on after this."

While Carr said he didn't want a tie, and that they wanted to win the game, that DOESN'T mean the team wasn't considering that option as a distinct possibility. In fact, Head coach Rich Bisaccia discussed that scenario postgame with the media.

Staley's decision to call a timeout will be scrutinized throughout the week, but at least we know his rationale behind the decision. If the Raiders were truly content to run out the clock and have both teams advance, it's an absolute gut-punch for the Chargers who brilliantly fought their way back to force the game into overtime on the final play of the game.

The Raiders now head to Cincinnati on Saturday afternoon as the 5-seed in the AFC .