Raiders

Raiders eliminated from playoff contention with stunning loss

Raiders
Dolphins celebrate win
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In one of the wildest endings to an NFL game you'll ever see, the Raiders thought they had saved their 2020 season twice, and then watched their AFC playoff hopes slip away in the end.

The final four minutes of Saturday's game between Las Vegas and the Miami Dolphins at Allegiant Stadium saw four lead changes, with the visitors kicking a game-winning field goal with one second remaining in regulation.

With the 26-25 loss, the Raiders (7-8) officially have been eliminated from AFC playoff contention.

Six weeks ago, the Raiders were sitting at 6-3 and eyeing a playoff spot. But another late-season collapse will have them watching the postseason from home this winter. Jon Gruden's team is 1-5 over the last six games, a slide eerily similar to last season.

With just under four minutes remaining Saturday, quarterback Derek Carr scrambled and hit Nelson Agholor down the sideline. The wide receiver did the rest, weaving his way for an 85-yard touchdown to give the Raiders a 22-16 lead. Daniel Carlson missed the extra point.

But just as quickly as the Raiders took the lead, Ryan Fitzpatrick grabbed it right back. The Dolphins quarterback found Myles Gaskin, who streaked down the sideline for a go-ahead 59-yard touchdown.

The Raiders got the ball back and were aided by a 49-yard pass interference penalty that gave them great field position. They ran the ball, draining the clock and forcing the Dolphins to burn their timeouts. But in a decision that surely will be second-guessed, Josh Jacobs decided to go down at the 1-yard line rather than score a touchdown and left too much time for Miami. Carlson gave Las Vegas a 25-23 lead with 22-yard field goal with 19 seconds left in regulation.

 

At this point, ESPN gave the Raiders a 99.9 percent win probability (H/T Pro Football Network).

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In reality, getting the six -- and likely seven -- points would have been valuable, because Fitzpatrick took a shot downfield and connected for a 34-yard gain to Mack Hollins. Arden Key was flagged for roughing the passer on the play, tacking on another 15 yards. Two plays later, Jason Sanders kicked the game-winning 44-yard field goal, putting a dagger in the heart of the Raiders' playoff dreams.

Gruden and Co. close out the 2020 NFL season next Sunday with a road game against the Denver Broncos. Las Vegas had hoped to play beyond Jan. 3. Instead, the Raiders can start planning for the offseason.