Rams' Baker Mayfield caps 'wild 48 hours' with comeback win in debut

December 9, 2022, 12:09 AM

INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Baker Mayfield didn't start against the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday night, but he wasted no time making his mark in his debut for the Los Angeles Rams.

Mayfield, playing two days after he was claimed off waivers by the Rams, came off the bench in the first quarter and rallied his team from a 13-point deficit in the fourth, engineering a 98-yard game-winning drive that was capped by a 23-yard touchdown pass to Van Jefferson with 10 seconds left in a 17-16 win.

Mayfield took over the game for good on the Rams' second series, replacing quarterback John Wolford, who started but played just one series. Mayfield finished 22-of-35 for 230 yards and a touchdown to rally the Rams during a week in which he was released by the Carolina Panthers on Monday and arrived at the Rams facility Tuesday night.

"It's been a wild 48 hours," Mayfield told the Amazon broadcast after the win, which snapped the Rams' six-game losing streak.

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' touchdown run with 3:19 to play.

The Rams' defense stopped Derek Carr and the Raiders at the 2-minute warning, but AJ Cole dropped a 64-yard punt at the Rams 2. 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 Raiders' 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.

According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Rams' 98-yard TD drive was the longest go-ahead TD drive that began in the final two minutes over the past 45 seasons.

Mayfield, a former Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 overall pick, was asked where Thursday night's comeback win with his new team ranked among 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."

Mayfield has now played for three teams in his first five seasons, making him just the second player taken No. 1 overall in the common draft era (since 1967) to do so.

Despite starting the game, Wolford didn't attempt a pass. It is the third time in the past 10 seasons that a team's starting quarterback did not attempt a pass, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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