Chargers down Raiders in OT

By Jeff Miller
Los Angeles Times/TNS

Justin Herbert has called Marcus Mariota a mentor.

The Los Angeles Chargers’ rookie quarterback defeated his mentor Thursday in a 30-27 overtime victory over the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium.

Herbert launched into the end zone from a yard out for the winning touchdown with 1:29 left.

The victory ended the Chargers’ nine-game losing streak in the AFC West.

Las Vegas lost quarterback Derek Carr to a groin injury late in the first quarter. He was replaced by Mariota, making the game a matchup of former Oregon quarterbacks.

The Raiders received the kickoff to start overtime, and Mariota guided the offense on a 14-play, 70-yard drive that ended with a 22-yard field goal by Daniel Carlson after the Chargers’ defense made a stand.

Herbert came right back and marched the Chargers down the field. He had a 53-yard completion to Jalen Guyton to set up the final touchdown.

Herbert completed 22 of 32 for 314 yards and two touchdowns. Guyton caught four passes for a team-high 91 yards.

The Chargers played overtime without Joey Bosa, who was being evaluated for a concussion.

With the score tied 24-24, the Chargers had two chances to take the lead in the fourth quarter but kicker Michael Badgley missed field goal tries from 47 and 51 yards.

After the Raiders tied the score 17-17 midway through the third quarter, the Chargers went to 24-17 with a 12-play, 75-yard drive. Kalen Ballage scored from a yard out.

Mariota answered Herbert’s effort with a touchdown drive of his own to make it 24-24. The Raiders used 19 plays and nearly 11 minutes to go 75 yards. Mariota ran two yards and leaped into the end zone for the score.

The Chargers started the game with utter perfection, holding the Raiders to a three-and-out and then going 78 yards in 12 plays for a touchdown.

Herbert completed all six of his attempts for 75 yards on the drive, hitting Hunter Henry for a 10-yard score. Those numbers worked out to a 158.3 passer rating, which is the highest possible.

The possession also consumed nearly half of the first quarter.

And Herbert was just starting.

After Las Vegas scored the game’s next 10 points, he would lead the Chargers on a 14-play, 71-yard drive that ended with a 22-yard Badgley field goal to make it 10-10 late in the first half.

After the Chargers’ defense held, Herbert and the offense went 49 yards in four plays to take a 17-10 edge at halftime. Herbert passed 26 yards to Tyron Johnson for the touchdown.

In the first half, Herbert completed 16 of 20 for 194 yards and a 140.4 passer rating.

Justin Herbert (10) of the Los Angeles Chargers attempts a pass against the Atlanta Falcons during the fourth quarter at SoFi Stadium on Dec. 13, 2020 in Inglewood, Ca.