The timeout stopped the clock as the game was looking like it was going to be a tie. A tie between both teams would have secured a playoff spot for both teams.
The Raiders ran the ball two straight times with Josh Jacobs right after the 2-minute warning. It appeared the game was heading toward a tie until Staley called the timeout. Jacobs would run the ball once more to set up a Daniel Carlson field goal. The Raiders ran the ball down to 2 seconds and called a timeout. Carlson hit the 47-yard field to send the Raiders to the playoffs.
NBC broadcasters Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth were confused by the timeout.
“What?” Collinsworth exclaimed while Michaels hummed.
“I think the Raiders were playing to get it down to either a field goal or just let the clock run out and the Chargers took the timeout,” Collinsworth said.
Michaels added: “I’m trying to process this myself.”
On social media, NFL fans were just as confused.
After Carlson’s field goal to win the game 35-32, Derek Carr told NBC’s Michelle Tafoya the decision for the Chargers to run the ball changed their strategy.
Staley told reporters after the game he wanted to get the right defensive package on the field knowing Las Vegas was going to likely run the ball.
Raiders coach Rich Bisaccia said they thought about just winding the clock down before getting a big run and getting into an “advantageous” field goal position.
The Raiders are now in the playoffs and the Chargers are starting their offseason.