Chargers out-tank the Raiders with hilariously bad start on Thursday Night Football

Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders
Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages

The 2023 season unofficially ended for the LA Chargers in Week 14. Los Angeles fell to 5-8 and lost Justin Herbert for the rest of the year. As a result, fans started to look ahead to the offseason and the 2024 NFL Draft.

The Bolts did not get much time to think about Week 14's sad loss as the team had to turn around and play the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday Night Football. With the Raiders also being 5-8, Thursday's game didn't have any playoff implications but did have draft implications.

It appeared before the game that both teams were entering a tank-off as Keenan Allen and Josh Jacobs were held out of the game. After just nine minutes of game action, the Chargers proved they were the better tanking team.

Chargers conduct a masterful tank job vs Raiders

After a three-and-out to start the game, the Chargers allowed Aidan O'Connell and the Raiders offense to march down the field and score a touchdown. On the fourth play of the ensuing drive, Easton Stick fumbled before he was even contacted. After another Raiders touchdown, Joshua Kelley fumbled on the first play of the next job.

And just like that the Chargers were down 21-0 with three minutes to play in the first quarter. To make matters worse, the Raiders have only scored 21 points twice all season and are coming off a game in which they lost 3-0.

Under normal circumstances, this would be an outrageous start. Chargers fans would typically be up in arms over the fact that the Raiders jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. After all, the Raiders are the Chargers' biggest rival and losing to them is as painful as it comes.

But this game is different. For the first time in a very long time, many Chargers fans were rooting for the Raiders to win this game. Fans already have an eye on the 2024 draft class and losing to a team with the same record is a big step in the right direction to getting a higher pick.

With three potential playoff teams in the final three weeks of the season (Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs), there is a fairly good chance that the Bolts lose out and finish the season 5-12.

And at this rate, they might lose the final four games of the season by a combined 150-0 point differential.

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