Quarterback's Crazy 48 Hours: 'It's a Pretty Damn Good Story'

Baker Mayfield engineers an unlikely winning drive 2 days after joining Rams
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2022 8:05 AM CST
Quarterback's Crazy Win: 'It's a Pretty Damn Good Story'
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Baker Mayfield after throwing a touchdown against the Las Vegas Raiders Thursday.   (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

The Los Angeles Rams beat the Las Vegas Raiders 17-16 Thursday night, a contest between two ho-hum teams that typically wouldn't generate many headlines outside the NFL bubble. But the unusual way in which the Rams won changed that in a big way. Quarterback Baker Mayfield, who joined the team only two days ago—he "probably hasn’t collected his luggage from LAX yet," notes Torrey Hart of the Athletic—led a 98-yard touchdown drive in the final two minutes for the win. That just happens to be the longest go-ahead TD drive beginning in the final two minutes in at least 45 years, per SB Nation.

"I don't know if you can write it any better than that," Mayfield said after the game, per ESPN. "Obviously, we'd like to be a little bit more stress-free, but it's a pretty damn good story, I'll be honest with you." The 27-year-old—the first player selected in the 2018 draft— was released on Monday by the Carolina Panthers, per WCNC. The Rams then picked him up, but given the short turnaround to learn the team's plays, it was unclear whether Mayfield would even play, let alone start, let alone lead a stunning TD drive that culminated with a pass to Van Jefferson in the final seconds. (Watch it here.)

Fox Sports calls it a "miracle comeback," noting that Mayfield only received the team playbook on his Tuesday night flight to Los Angeles. Plus, the Raiders led 16-3 late in the fourth quarter before the new QB suddenly found his groove. The AP notes another milestone of the game: The Raiders became the first team to blow four halftime leads of at least 10 points in a single season, at least in records that go back to 1930. (More NFL stories.)

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