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Baker Mayfield Has Dream Debut In LA As Rams Beat Raiders In Wild Comeback

Baker Mayfield threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Van Jefferson with 10 seconds to play to cap a 98-yard drive, and the Los Angeles Rams’ brand-new quarterback led two TD drives late in the fourth quarter of a shocking 17-16 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday night.

Just two days after the Rams (4-9) claimed Mayfield off waivers from Carolina, the former No 1 pick went 22 of 35 for 230 yards and snapped the defending Super Bowl champions’ six-game losing streak in dramatic fashion.

“It’s been a wild 48 hours,” Mayfield said after the game on Amazon’s broadcast.

Los Angeles trailed 16-3 after Daniel Carlson’s third field goal with 12:20 to play, but Mayfield engineered a 75-yard drive capped by Cam Akers’ TD run with 3:19 to play.

The Los Angeles defense stopped Derek Carr and the Raiders at the two-minute warning, but AJ Cole put a 64-yard punt at the Rams’ two-yard line. Undaunted and with no timeouts, Mayfield led the Rams downfield – with ample help from an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the Raiders’ Jerry Tillery for knocking the ball out of the quarterback’s hands after a play.

The Rams reached the Vegas 23 with 15 seconds left, and Mayfield promptly found Jefferson in the back corner of the end zone. The drive included a contested 32-yard reception by Ben Skowronek, who finished with seven catches for 89 yards.

Josh Jacobs rushed for 99 yards and the only touchdown for the Raiders (5-8), whose three-game winning streak ended in humiliating fashion. Less than four weeks after Las Vegas lost in former ESPN analyst Jeff Saturday’s NFL coaching debut with Indianapolis, the Raiders lost to a quarterback who joined his new team less than 48 hours before the game. The Raiders are just the fourth team in NFL history to lose four games in a season after leading by 13 or more points, according to ESPN Stats and Info.

The Raiders are the fourth team to lose 4 games in a season after leading by 13 or more points, joining the 1998 Colts, 1996 Jets and 1982 Rams.

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 9, 2022 Carr passed for 137 yards with no TDs and two interceptions, including a game-icing pick at midfield.

Mayfield was having a terrible season for the Panthers, but he improbably injected a spark into the Rams with a handful of big plays and decent drives despite minimal knowledge of coach Sean McVay’s offense.

With McVay apparently giving detailed instructions into his helmet before each play, Mayfield immediately got the Rams moving with three completions of at least 20 yards in his first two series. Los Angeles had only 26 such completions in their first 12 games – the third-fewest in the NFL.

And once he was warmed up, Mayfield completed 15 of his 20 passes in the fourth quarter, flawlessly directing his new teammates downfield for two scores.

After the game, Mayfield was asked how Thursday’s events ranked in his career highlights. “This is up there to be honest with you,” he said. “I didn’t think it was going to play out like this, but I am sure happy we covered the two-minute operation, my goodness.”

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