What is being called “The Sin City Miracle” is one of the strangest and most unbelievable victories in the history of the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Miracle In The City Of Sin
Chandler Jones is now and forever cemented in Raiders’ lore. Heavily scrutinized and singled out by the media as well as fans, Jones produced the redemption missing from the Raiders franchise since the Tuck Rule game. Jones’ stiff arm to the side of New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones’ head will be forever etched in the memory of Raider Nation. Racing 45 yards to steal the game in walk-off fashion is the stuff dreams are made of.
Has to be seen to be believed: pic.twitter.com/DKNWzwu2pR
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 19, 2022
With three seconds remaining in a 24-24 game, the Patriots had the ball on their own 45-yard line on third and 10. According to Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick, the play was a draw. Rhamondre Stevenson had been absolutely gashing the Raiders’ run defense in the fourth quarter. At that point, Stevenson had tallied six rushes for 77 yards and one touchdown.
Once the ball was hiked, Stevenson took the handoff, started right, and then came back left. Stevenson then broke Chandler Jones’ tackle attempt and took it 25 yards up field before he got fenced in. From there, the football gods finally smiled on the Raiders. “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth,” is how the old saying goes, and Jakobi Meyers was that gift horse.
What The Heck Just Happened?
Stevenson, in an impromptu bid to win the game in dramatic fashion, shot-put the ball laterally to Meyers. Meyers reversed field to elude defenders and, after 10 yards, pulled up and laid caution to the wind. Spinning while throwing the ball across the field in the direction of the sole remaining Patriot in the area, Mac Jones.Â When opportunity knocks, someone needs to be there to answer the door, and Chandler Jones stepped up.
Meyers threw the ball straight to Jones. No. 55 then proceeded to stiff-arm the soul out of Mac Jones and take it to the house. Very rarely does a crazy finish end in the Raiders’ favor. I have watched a lot of football in my life, but I have never seen anything like that. All that was required was to maintain possession of the ball and end the play. Somehow, doing your job got lost on Meyers in the moment, and as Belichick himself would say, “We made a mistake on the play.”
Crazy Finishes Like That Typically Don’t Go In The Raiders’ Favor
Typically, the Raiders end up getting the short end of the stick in these scenarios. Who can forget such nonsense as the Tuck Rule, Immaculate Reception, Sea of Hands, Index Card Game, and the Oakland slide off? We would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge the good with the bad as well. We are, of course, referring to the Five Untimed Downs, the Holy Roller, and now the Sin City Miracle. What does this mean?
The Raiders once again are in an interesting place. They still possess the ability to make the playoffs despite having eight losses on the season. The defense is playing well and holding teams under 20 points (pick-sixes shouldn’t count toward the defense’s total). Running back Josh Jacobs has 1,495 yards on the season. His bid for 1,760 yards (Marcus Allen’s Raiders single-season franchise mark was 1,759 yards in 1985) has three games and 265 yards remaining in the 2022 season. Those games are against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the San Francisco 49ers, and the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Raiders are capable of making the playoffs, believe it or not. Looking back, the loss to the Los Angeles Rams may have actually been a blessing in disguise. These guys are fighting hard; every time they get knocked down, they get back up, and they have shown resilience in 2022. Hopefully, finishes like these are a sign of wins to come instead of tough losses.
*Top Photo: David Becker/Associated Press