Well, that didn’t take long.
“Not taking long” could mean a number of things: Baker Mayfield’s first appearance in a Rams uniform didn’t take long, as he made his debut on Thursday night. Or Mayfield’s education of the playbook. Or his first win in a Rams uniform. Or the 1:50 it took for Mayfield to put the Rams ahead for a win.
“I don’t know if you could write it any better than that,” Mayfield said in his postgame press conference. “Obviously, we’d like to be a little bit more stress-free. But it’s a pretty damn good story. It’s special.”
Mayfield and the Rams ended their own six-game losing streak and the Raiders’ three-game winning streak with a 17-16 win on “Thursday Night Football,” with Mayfield tossing the game-tying score to Van Jefferson for with just nine seconds left in regulation. An extra point would give the Rams the lead and the win.
.@bakermayfield‘s first TD as a Rams gives us the LEAD!!
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) December 9, 2022
MORE: Why did the Rams claim Baker Mayfield?
Mayfield made his way from Carolina to Los Angeles this week, with the Panthers waiving the 2018 No. 1 overall pick. Throughout the night, Amazon broadcasters Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit couldn’t get enough of Mayfield having the type of performance he did with just a few days’ worth of prep in a brand-new offense.
“This is impossible,” Michaels said when Van Jefferson came down with the game-tying TD. … “There’s a new leading man in Hollywood.”
On the whole, it was pretty promising for Mayfield and Sean McVay’s
How did Baker Mayfield play?
In his first appearance for the Rams, Mayfield led a game-winning drive to down the Raiders in Week 14. That’s the stuff of legend, when you consider a few things.
In all, Mayfield went 22-of-35 passing for 230 yards and a touchdown on the night — all of this while picking up a Rams playbook for the first time on Tuesday night.
Mayfield didn’t even get the opportunity to start the game, entering the matchup just before the end of the first quarter, with John Wolford’s night ending after a single drive. Wolford was dealing with a neck injury entering the game, so his health was somewhat in question.
Still, Mayfield got the start and the win, even with the Rams’ offense hitting a lull in the middle third of the game. A pair of fourth-quarter TDs proved to be the difference for LA.
So, what factored into in the game-winning performance?
“I mean … just Baker Mayfield,” Van Jefferson said following the game. … “He’s just confident. It’s important to him. He took it to heart.”
Sean McVay added to the intangibles conversation:
“You can’t say enough about Baker Mayfield, and the leadership, the resilience, the competitiveness,” McVay said following the game. “And what a quick study. He just got here five minutes ago, and figured out a way to do some special things tonight.”
McVay said Mayfield had the benefit of some “concept carryover” from prior stops, but still had a single practice leading into Thursday night’s game. Surprisingly, McVay said that Mayfield was going to play regardless of Wolford’s health, adding that it was the plan to get Mayfield into the game in the second or third series.
“For him to get here and do what he just did. it just shows how determined he is and what kind of guy he is, Van Jefferson said. “I’m glad he’s here.”
It’s a small sample size, but if this is what the Rams can expect with a Mayfield on just a few days of studying, then a full weeks’ worth of practice might be box office.
Baker Mayfield stats
Mayfield entered the Week 14 matchup with the Rams in the midst of one of his statistical worst seasons of his career. That’s largely due to the fact that the Panthers were in a state of flux, leading to the firing of head coach Matt Rhule and the QB shuffle featuring Mayfield, Sam Darnold and P.J. Walker.
Here’s how Mayfield’s numbers stacked up entering his debut with LA:
|Games||7 (6 starts)|
|Yards per game||187.6|
|PFF grade (offense)||52.2|