Former Las Vegas Raiders GM Mike Mayock made a relatively rare media appearance last week, joining former NFL DE Chris Long on his podcast Green Light with Chris Long to discuss his time with the Raiders, 2019 to 2021. It’s a terrific interview with Mayock sharing tons of stories from his days as GM. His relationship with Jon Gruden, his decision to shockingly take Clemson DE Cle Ferrell #4 overall in 2019, and the notable draft gems he found along the way.
Later in the interview, Mayock recalled the Raiders’ wild Week 18 win over the Los Angeles Chargers in 2021, a game that nearly ended in a tie that would’ve eliminated the Pittsburgh Steelers from the playoffs. Instead, the Raiders kicked a field goal as the overtime clock expired, putting them and Pittsburgh into postseason while eliminating the Chargers.
Speaking about that game, Mayock dropped a quick story of how the Steelers thanked the Raiders for it.
“Sure enough, Daniel Carlson is money and we win the game,” Mayock told Long. “Pittsburgh’s in. I got Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert texting me after the game. Big thank you. I think even Mike Tomlin sent us a chocolate thing.”
Pittsburgh seemingly had punched their ticket to the playoffs earlier in the day, beating the Baltimore Ravens in overtime while the Jacksonville Jaguars shockingly upset the Indianapolis Colts, putting the Steelers in play for the #7 seed. All they had to do was avoid a Raiders/Chargers tie and they were in. The Raiders could’ve won, the Chargers could’ve won, it didn’t matter. Just no ties.
In typical Steelers’ raise-your-blood-pressure fashion, the Raiders blew a 29-14 fourth quarter lead with the Chargers tying the game on the final play of regulation. Both teams nailed field goals in overtime to keep the game locked at 32. With time running out, it seemed like the Raiders were going to sit on the ball and settle for the tie, which would’ve put both teams in the postseason and eliminated Pittsburgh. But the Chargers called a timeout for unknown reasons, Mayock even told Long he still doesn’t understand why, and the Raiders ran the ball with Josh Jacobs, who got them into field goal range. Kicker Daniel Carlson nailed a 47-yarder to win the game, eliminate the Chargers, while putting Pittsburgh in the postseason along with the Raiders. Ben Roethlisberger’s reaction to watching the game was filmed, a sentiment that he shared with every other Steelers’ fan watching the game.
Unfortunately for both teams, their playoff run was short-lived. The Raiders lost to the Cincinnati Bengals on Wild Card weekend while the Steelers were blown out by the Kansas City Chiefs after hanging tough for the first 20 minutes. Still, it was a wild night that Pittsburgh still has Las Vegas to thank for. And Mike Tomlin made sure to do so.
You can check out the entire interview with Mayock below. If you’re a football junkie, it’s well worth your time.