Anyone who watched the Baltimore Ravens-Las Vegas Raiders game on Monday night got their money’s worth in the opening 60 minutes.
The Underdogs Raiders fell 14-0 behind and then rallied to take on the Ravens in Super Bowl contention all night. Marcus Mariota gained 30 yards on a goaltender. Derek Carr led three tied races in the fourth quarter alone. And Daniel Carlson kicked a 55-yard field goal with two seconds remaining.
But it was the extra time that followed Carlson’s kick that made this game unforgettable.
The Raiders got the ball first and Carr once again took the team onto the field on a practice that resulted in an apparent winning touchdown pass to Bryan Edwards. The crowd, attending a regular season game for the first time since the team moved to Las Vegas, celebrated. Some Raiders players ran to the locker room. But replay officials ruled Edwards should have been knocked out before he crossed the line, and the team had to get back on the pitch.
Still, the Raiders had the first and the goal to 1. The game was surely almost over.
Carr’s first try turned into a rugby scrimmage that ended in nothing, and then the Raiders pulled off a false start. With the ball back at 5, Carr attempted a pass, but she bounced off the Ravens’ DeShon Elliott helmet, took a wild carom and was intercepted by Anthony Averett.
Now the Ravens had their chance. But as Lamar Jackson backed up to pass, he was hit by Carl Nassib and groped. The Raiders were back in business.
After a one-meter run against the Ravens 26, he was still only in second place. But coach Jon Gruden sent the field goal team to win on the spot. Unfortunately, some of the team seemed far from ready. The result was a late game penalty.
“Our kicker was warming up in the net; no one could find him, ”was Gruden’s starting post-match confession.
After the penalty, Gruden decided to bring out the Raiders offense. And Carr immediately made everyone forget about the placement debacle with a high pass to an oddly open Zay Jones for the touchdown. Final score: Raiders 33, Ravens 27.
“I felt like I was dead and waking up,” Gruden said. “And died again. I was like a cat. I had several lives tonight. I don’t like to play like that “
For the Ravens, widely regarded as Super Bowl contenders this season, it was a near accident that stung.
“This loss hurt, definitely,” Jackson said. “This game could have gone anywhere tonight.” The Ravens had not lost 14 points in advance since 2004.
The result may not convince anyone that the Raiders, who were 8-8 last season, are real. But after the game, Gruden saw the result with a quote from longtime Raiders owner Al Davis.
With a smile he said: “It’s like we say here. Just win baby. “