Near the end of the first half on Thursday night, with the Raiders leading the Rams by 10 points, Las Vegas was driving for more.
The Raiders had the ball at the L.A. 10, facing third and five with 56 seconds left.
Quarterback Derek Carr dropped back to pass.Under pressure, he stumbled a bit before launching a clunky eephus pitch that was intercepted in the end zone.
The whole thing seemed to happen in slow motion, and if Rams linebacker Ernest Jones hadn’t caught the ball, at least one Rams defender had a better shot at it than intended receiver Mack Hollins.
After the game, Carr tried to explain the play.
“I don’t know if I got tripped,” Carr told reporters. “I don’t know what happened. Something happened, but I was throwing it to Mack in the back of the end zone. The safety took Foster [Moreau] and I was going to throw it to Mack and something happened as I was throwing it. So, something happened but Mack was open. I was trying to give him a ball for a touchdown, and that’s the hard part, because that’s points, that’s the difference in the score. It’s tough, it was that close to having a touchdown and, you know, everyone’s feeling better about today.”
A touchdown plus an extra point would have given the Raiders a three-score lead, 20-3, entering intermission. While not insurmountable, especially given the Raiders’ propensity to blow big leads, it would have been it a lot harder for the Rams to win the game, and to make it much harder for the Raiders to get back to the playoffs.