Few regular-season games in the NFL have had the week-long buildup and hype of the Week 18 Chargers-Raiders season finale. Fewer have beaten expectations.
But that was the sentiment for seemingly most of the NFL, who tuned into what many say was the first true playoff game of the 2021 NFL playoffs. Here are some reactions from fans losing their minds during and after the contest.
NFL fans could not believe what they were seeing in Raiders-Chargers
This fan was in shock as his season ended at its highest point.
This fan has had enough of Brandon Staley's analytics.
This fan is echoing Packers and Seahawks fans.
Rey was likely doing the same thing everyone else did several times in the fourth quarter.
CARROT is giving Justin Herbert all the credit for making it as close as he did.
Randy has had it with the constantly weird games surrounding his team.
This fan is thinking logically.
This fan is all-in on Justin Herbert and likely has a long road ahead, watching his quarterback.
Andy is joining the growing group of people turning on Brandon Staley's coaching style using analytics.
This fan is thrilled to be back in the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
Even fans from the other side of the NFL conference had to get their two cents in.
Taylor is counting down the days until the next time Herbert takes the screen.
Kevin L. Lang is over the moon about his team and is likely hoping his team can find a new ceiling next week.
Derek Carr heading to playoffs for first time
With the win, the Las Vegas Raiders will be back in the playoffs for the first time since 2016. Derek Carr will be playing in his first playoff game in the NFL since being drafted in 2013. Carr went 12-4 in 2016 and missed the game due to a season-ending injury. However, now fully healthy, the Raiders will get their first taste of Carr in the playoffs.
The Raiders made it with an interim head coach in the league's first such accomplishment since 1961, according to Ari Meirov. Football historians know that 1961 preceeds the Super Bowl era. Meaning, this was the first time, in the Super Bowl era, that a team made the playoffs with an interim head coach.
How far will the Raiders go in the playoffs? The Raiders have a quarterback who has never played in a playoff game and an interim head coach who has never acted as a head coach in a playoff game. However, they've beaten the odds all season long, so it is tough to completely write them off.