The Las Vegas Raiders had a nail biter with the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 9.
This was a big game for both teams.
The Raiders were trying to improve their record to 5-3, keeping their hopes of the playoffs a reality.
While the Chargers were finally trying to win a close game that could have possibly turned their season around.
In a game that mainly went back and forth, it was Vegas CB Isaiah Johnson who made the game saving play.
Afterwards, he discussed why he felt extra motivated for this game and who he dedicated the winning play too.
Johnson’s Former Teammate Passed Away Earlier In the Week
Cb Isaiah Johnson of the Las Vegas Raiders played his college ball at the University of Houston.
The 24-year-old has been trying to solidify his spot as a top corner on this Raider team since entering the league.
Well, he might have taken one step closer to doing that, as he made the play of the day in Week 9.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 9, 2020
After the game, Coach Jon Gruden said that Johnson “baptized” the Raiders with the season-saving play.
But, for Johnson, this game was more than just a regular-season game.
Earlier in the week, his former teammate at the University of Houston, Ka’Darian Smith passed away.
Johnson touched upon it after the game.
#Raiders CB Isaiah Johnson found out this week one of his teammates at Houston passed away.
He said he didn't tell too many people about it but said this one was for his friend, Ka'Darian Smith 🙏🏼
— Jesse Merrick (@JesseNews3LV) November 9, 2020
He states in his presser:
“I found out that one of my close, close teammates that was like a little brother to me had passed away in Houston. I played cornerback with him at U of H. He had lost his life in Houston this past Wednesday and I didn’t tell a whole bunch of people about it because I knew we still had to prepare and win the game, and I didn’t want to be a distraction.”
Well, I’m sure his friend is smiling down from heaven as Johnson played his tail off Sunday.
The Chargers went after him on back to back passing attempts in the end zone and he defended both really well.
He did a great job in honoring his close friend this past weekend.
Las Vegas Raiders Now 2 Games Above .500
Thanks to Isaiah Johnson’s late game heroics, the Raiders now sit at 5-3 and have a real shot of making the playoffs.
It was noted earlier in the week that the Raiders were dealing with some injuries ahead of their Week 9 matchup.
Most notably, to starting CB Trayvon Mullen, who was dealing with a hamstring injury.
He eventually suited up for Week 9, but did not return after injuring his hamstring.
#Raiders Trayvon Mullen has a hamstring injury and is QUESTIONABLE to return.
— Levi Damien (@LeviDamien) November 8, 2020
In his absence, came CB Isaiah Johnson who had a huge game for the Raiders.
If rookie CB Damon Arnette weren’t on the IR, Johnson probably would have never saw the field.
Funny how things work out sometimes.
Arnette may be returning this week though as he has been looking better at practice.
— Raiders on NBCS (@NBCSRaiders) November 4, 2020
Regardless, expect Isaiah Johnson to receive more playing time as the season progresses.
He proved his worth to the Raiders.
Losing multiple starters at a crucial position, Johnson came in during crunch time and made multiple game saving plays.