NEWS Rams’ Baker Mayfield off the bench, earns debut on 98-yard drive

Rams' Baker Mayfield off the bench, earns debut on 98-yard drive

INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Sean McVeigh burst into laughter from the podium shortly after Baker Mayfield led the Los Angeles Rams to a 17-16 comeback victory over the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday night .

“It’s like we drafted it,” McVeigh said.

The Rams won the game, snapping their six-game losing streak in stunning fashion, led by Mayfield, who played two days after being waived. Mayfield came off the bench after Los Angeles’ first series, replacing starting quarterback John Wolford.

After the Rams trailed by 13 points in the fourth quarter, Mayfield led the game on a 98-yard game-winner that ended with a 23-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Van Jefferson with 10 seconds left .

“I don’t know if you can write better than that,” Mayfield said. “Obviously, we wanted to take the pressure off a little bit, but it’s a pretty good story, to be honest.”

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 98-yard drive was the longest touchdown drive started in the final two minutes over the past 45 seasons.

“You can’t say enough about Baker Mayfield and his leadership [and] Competitive,” McVay said. “And a quick learner. I mean, he just got here five minutes ago and figured out how he could do something special tonight. “

Mayfield said the past three days have been “pretty busy” as he travels from Carolina on Monday to play in Los Angeles on Thursday night.

“Some tough decisions, but everything happens for a reason,” Mayfield said. “I have a lot of emotions right now, but I’m really, really lucky, and I’m really grateful right now, especially to the people here who welcomed me and helped me take a crash course here.”

The Rams trailed 16-3 after Daniel Carlson’s third field goal with 12:20 left, but Mayfield led with a 75-yard touchdown by Cam Akers with 3:19 left kick off.

After a 2-minute warning to stop Derek Carr and the Raiders, the Rams found themselves in a precarious situation as AJ Cole threw a 64-yard punt on the Rams 2. Without a timeout, Mayfield led the Rams off the field and reached the Raiders’ 23 with 15 seconds left. Mayfield then connected with Jefferson in the back corner of the end zone.

During the winning game, Mayfield said he was “completely shocked” when he saw the Raiders appear in the media coverage with 15 seconds left in the game.

“I really thought they were going to jump out and play the zone,” he said. “But they just stuck with it and I saw the weak side safety stay the same, Van was a great passer, went up and got the ball, he won off the line and did a great job.”

According to ESPN Stats & Information research, Mayfield completed 15 of 20 passes in the fourth quarter, the second most in any quarter of his career.

A former Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 overall pick, Mayfield was asked where Thursday night’s comeback win with his new team ranks among the highlights of his career.

“Honestly, it’s over the top,” he said on Amazon Radio. “I don’t think it’s going to end like this, but I’m glad we did the two-minute operation, man.”

Mayfield is 0-22 in his career as a starter when trailing by 13 or more points, but this is the second time he has led a 13-point comeback off the bench. He also erased a 14-0 deficit in his NFL debut in 2018.

Despite starting the game, Walford did not attempt a pass. It was the third time in the past 10 seasons that a team’s starting quarterback failed to attempt a pass, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Mayfield has now played for three teams in his first five seasons, making him just the second player in the general draft era (since 1967) to win a championship.

This report uses information from The Associated Press.

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