Baker Mayfield throws game-winning touchdown during Rams debut vs. Raiders on ‘Thursday Night Football’

Baker Mayfield had an inkling that the Rams would request his services after he was released by Carolina earlier this week. Mayfield was so sure that Los Angeles would sign him that he actually booked a flight to Los Angeles before he officially turned down views.

In a performance fit for a Hollywood script, Mayfield led the Rams to an epic 17-16 victory on Thursday night after throwing the game-winning touchdown pass to Van Jefferson with 10 seconds left. The score capped off a 98-yard drive that saw Mayfield complete several big passes while helping the Rams snap their six-game losing streak.

“That’s right there,” Mayfield told Amazon’s postgame crew when asked to compare Thursday night’s victory to other notable moments in his career. “Originally, I was angry about having to go through so many coaching changes and learn so many new things, but it sure helped right there. … They made some good plays and put me in a good position to win.”

It took three running plays and one possession for Sean McVay to make the switch from John Wolford to Mayfield. Mayfield entered the game with 2:21 left in the first quarter and the Rams trailing 10-0.

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“I knew I wasn’t going to start,” Mayfield. “Honestly, we were just seeing how John was going to feel, exactly how it was going to go and just going to play it out. I was going to be ready no matter what.”

Mayfield was 22 of 35 for 230 yards in his Rams debut. Trailing 16-3 late, Mayfield engineered a 17-play drive that ended with Cam Akers’ 1-yard touchdown run. After the Rams defense forced a quick punt, Mayfield’s 32-yard completion to Ben Skowronek on Los Angeles’ final drive helped set up his game-winning pass to Jefferson.

“To be honest with you, I was completely shocked that they lined up in press coverage with 15 seconds left,” Mayfield said of his game-winning touchdown pass. “I really thought they were going to try to pop out and play zone but they just stayed with it. Their weak side safety stayed down. Wan’s a great walking ball runner. He won off the line and did a good job.”

On his first play as a Ram, the former Browns and Panthers quarterback zipped a 21-yard completion to Jefferson. Mayfield then had a 6-yard run that helped set up Matt Gay’s 55-yard field goal.

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“For him to get here and just do what he just did, it just shows how determined and what kind of a guy he is. I’m glad he’s here,” Jefferson told Amazon’s Kaylee Hartung. – He just came in and worked out, he’s only been here for a day… When he came in, we knew that he would perform.

Mayfield and the Rams offense didn’t do much in the second or third quarter, but it was on in the fourth quarter. He had considerable success throwing the ball to Skowronek and Tutu Atwell. Skowronek caught seven passes for 89 yards. Atwell caught five passes for 50 yards after catching just six passes during the first three months of the season.

Mayfield signed with the Rams a day after he was released by the Panthers. Mayfield, who signed with Carolina last offseason, lost his starting spot after sustaining an injury in Week 5. His last start in Carolina came in a Week 11 loss to the Browns, the team with whom he spent the first Four years of his career.

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“I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is don’t let the game on the field affect who you are day in and day out,” Mayfield said when asked about the biggest thing he’s learned throughout his career to this point. “Be the same guy for your teammates, and that was the biggest thing this year that I think I’ve tried to just handle overall. Just try to help out where I can, not let all the other stuff affect me and roll with the Be who I am and kind of be the leader.

“I love football. I love playing the game and love playing and competing. Just go enjoy it.”

Mayfield did that and then some on Thursday night, and it resulted in a memorable finish that helped his new team avoid playoff elimination.

“It speaks to the culture of the locker room,” Mayfield said of the Rams’ overall performance on Thursday night. “They come here and still try to compete, even though the record speaks for itself. Just welcome me in, compete and fight to the end. That says everything you need to know about this place.”


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