Carl Nassib’s strip sack of Lamar Jackson in overtime set the Raiders up to put a winning stamp on their first game with fans at Allegiant Stadium.
Las Vegas got the ball at the 27-yard line, well within the range of kicker Daniel Carlson, who had hit a 55-yard field goal to send the game into overtime. They ran the ball once on first down and picked up an extra yard. That was all Jon Gruden needed to see before summoning the field goal unit to attempt the game-winning kick.
There was just one problem, as Gruden explained to reporters after the game.
“Our kicker was warming up in the net,” Gruden said, per Yahoo Sports. “No one could find him.”
Indeed, Carlson was late getting on the field, perhaps not expecting to be summoned to kick on second-and-9. The Raiders had already used both of their timeouts in the overtime period, so they were forced to take a delay of game penalty.
As a result, Las Vegas elected to send its offense back onto the field to gain more yardage rather than have Carlson attempt a 48-yard field goal. It was a hectic operation, as Derek Carr described after the contest.
“I didn’t know what happened,” Carr said. “I turned my back and I was just praying we made it. I turned around and it was a delay of game. I was like, ‘OK, he can still make this.’ Then it’s, ‘Get back out there!’ I hear in my headset, coach calling personnel, so I start running back out there.”
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The Raiders executed despite the lapse in communication. Zay Jones broke loose in the Ravens’ secondary on second-and-14, as Baltimore firmly expected the Raiders to run the ball. Jones reeled in a wide-open pass from Carr and scored to win the game.
That score rendered the minor blip on the Raiders’ radar moot. Now, Carlson will be hailed by the Las Vegas faithful as the man who sent the game to overtime instead of the man who wasn’t ready to perform his one job in overtime.
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