Las Vegas Raiders clinch, lose postseason opportunity

Juliana Villanueva, Staff Writer

The Las Vegas Raiders managed to advance into the National Football League’s (NFL) postseason; however, they were abruptly eliminated by the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday, Jan.15. 

Prior to their defeat, the Raiders played the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, Jan. 9. They were able to pull out a win in the final seconds of overtime when kicker Daniel Carlson made a field goal.  

The Raiders were then matched up against the Bengals in both teams’ opening match in the postseason. 

Controversial calls included penalties thrown and the unforgettable “Whistle-blown play,” which heavily impacted the outcome of the game. The “Whistle-blown play” was when Bengals quarterback Joe Burrows threw the ball to wide receiver Tyler Boyd who was in the endzone for a touchdown; a whistle was blown moments before the ball even made it inside Boyd’s hands. 

In the 2021 NFL rulebook, rule 15, section 4, it is stated that, “Whether an erroneous whistle sounded, it is considered a non-reviewable play.” 

The whistle blown by one of the referees was considered to be falsely blown because during the initial play, it was thought that Burrows stepped out of bounds before the ball left his hands.  

During an interview with Tualatin High School senior and football fan Sam Roach, he shared his overall thoughts, stating, “The throw from Burrow to Boyd before the half shouldn’t have been a touchdown.”

Fans agree the play should not have been a touchdown. Instead, the referees should have called for a replay. Since the call could not be reviewed, nothing could change the initial play. 

Towards the end,  the Raiders reached a conclusion that they had to score one more touchdown to seal their opportunity to head into overtime. With only a few seconds left in the 4th quarter, quarterback Derek Carr attempted to throw to wide receiver Zay Jones near the end zone, but the ball was intercepted. 

The game ended. The Bengals defeated the Raiders by a 7-point lead, and they proceeded to the divisional round of the NFL playoffs. The final score of this matchup was Bengals 26, Raiders 19. 

The last playoff game that resulted in the Bengals being victorious was against the Houston Oilers (currently the Houston Texans) in 1991. It had been 31 years since the previous time the Bengals won a playoff match. 

The Raiders loss caused them to be eliminated from the postseason. 

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr stated in a postgame interview, “Doesn’t mean you’re gonna be perfect every time, and it sucks to come up short, but at the end of the day there was never a doubt from everyone.” 

Nonetheless, the Raiders evidently showcased a tremendous season by finishing with a 10-8 record.