As he lined up for the final kick of Sunday night's game, Las Vegas Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson held the playoff fate of a team in his foot. Just not his own team.
Had Carlson missed his 47-yard field goal attempt in the final seconds of overtime, the Raiders would have tied the Los Angeles Chargers and both teams would have made the AFC playoffs, at the expense of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Instead, he drilled the 47-yard kick to end the Chargers' season and send the Steelers to the playoffs.
— NFL (@NFL) January 10, 2022
That wasn't the only time Carlson had helped the Steelers either, as he also made game-saving kicks against the team's AFC North rivals Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns.
Steelers fans are apparently thanking Carlson for his help in avoiding a tie that would have eliminated their team by donating to a number of charities he has been involved with, according to a tweet from Carlson on Monday.
@steelers please thank your fans who are generously donating to charities I've been involved with! I’ll add some links below for any others who would like to join in on the fun! PLAYOFFS!!!
— Daniel Carlson (@DanielCarlson38) January 10, 2022
This isn't the first time an NFL fanbase has thanked another team's player for indirectly saving their season, the most famous example of which is Buffalo Bills fans showering Andy Dalton's foundation with money after he led an upset win in 2018 that ended the Bills' 17-year postseason drought.
It's a heartwarming way to end the season for Carlson, who was one of the NFL's top kickers with 40 made field goals on 43 attempts, including six of seven from 50 yards or longer.