INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Baker Mayfield threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Van Jefferson with 10 seconds left to cap a 98-yard drive, and the newest Los Angeles Rams quarterback led two TD drives at the end of the fourth quarter of a shocking 17-16 win 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 ended the champions’ six-game losing streak in Super Bowl title in spectacular fashion.
Los Angeles trailed 16-3 after Daniel Carlson’s third field goal with 12:20 left, but Mayfield engineered a 75-yard drive capped by Cam Akers’ TD run with 3:19 left.
The Los Angeles defense stopped Derek Carr and the Raiders on the 2-minute warning, but AJ Cole dropped a 64-yard punt to the Rams 2. Unfazed and with no downtime, Mayfield led the Rams to the low – with the help of unsportsmanlike driving. penalty to Jerry Tillery of the Raiders 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 quickly 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 lone 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 debut with Indianapolis, the Raiders lost to a quarterback who joined his new team less than 48 hours before the match.
Carr had 137 rushing yards without a touchdown and two interceptions, including a game-breaking midfield pick.
Coach Sean McVay quickly switched his attack to Mayfield instead of substitutes John Wolford and Bryce Perkins, who have both been ineffective in place of the injured Matthew Stafford in recent weeks.
Mayfield had a terrible season for the Panthers, but he unlikely injected a spark into the Rams with a handful of big plays and decent workouts despite minimal knowledge of McVay’s offense.
With McVay seemingly giving detailed instructions in his headset before each play, Mayfield immediately got the Rams moving with three completed passes of at least 20 yards in his first two series. Los Angeles has had just 26 such completions in its first 12 games — third-fewest in the NFL.
And once warmed up, Mayfield completed 15 of 20 passes in the fourth quarter, neatly heading his new teammates down for two scores.
Jacobs hit it to cap the Raiders’ opener, and the running back got 18 carries in the first half as Vegas tried to crush the Rams.
Davante Adams had just four targets in the first half, but he had two jaw-dropping catches.
Akers shorted Mayfield’s strong second drive with a fumble in the red zone, but Rams linebacker Ernest Jones made an interception in the end zone with 49 seconds left in the first half to limit the lead of Las Vegas at 13-3.
Los Angeles reached the red zone for the first time with 5 1/2 minutes left, and Akers capitalized.
New York Post