Rams move to 4-9 and avoid being eliminated from playoff contention tonight. Raiders fall to 5-8 and suffer a big loss as far as playoff positioning is concerned.
Rams vs. Raiders score, takeaways: Baker Mayfield leads historic game-winning drive in storybook L.A. debut
Mayfield magic was on full display Thursday night
The Los Angeles Rams scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to pull off a huge upset victory over the Las Vegas Raiders, 17-16. New Rams quarterback Baker Mayfield led an eight-play, 98-yard drive with 1:45 remaining in the fourth quarter down six points, and hit Van Jefferson for a 23-yard touchdown with just 10 seconds remaining.
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 last 45 seasons.
The Raiders controlled tempo all evening, but Josh McDaniels' squad clearly lifted their foot off the gas pedal in the second half. Derek Carr finished with 137 passing yards and two interceptions, while Josh Jacobs rushed for 99 yards and a touchdown. Davante Adams made some splash plays as well, and caught three passes for 71 yards.
John Wolford got the start for the Rams at quarterback, but Mayfield replaced him after just one drive. The former No. 1 overall pick completed 22 of 35 passes for 230 yards and one touchdown, while Ben Skowronek caught seven passes for 89 yards.
Here's a breakdown on how this incredible comeback transpired on Thursday evening.
Why the Rams won
Baker. Mayfield. Showed. Up.
Mayfield was waived by the Carolina Panthers this week and not only had to adjust to a new offense, but he also was dealing with a short week. Mayfield received the playbook on Tuesday night, studied it on the plane ride to L.A. and despite only having Wednesday with the team, he somehow had the chemistry needed with his receivers to lead a 13-point comeback. Mayfield has barely adjusted to the time change, but it looks like he has adjusted to his new offense. The defense helped the offense by never letting the Raiders get too much of a lead. The Rams had more passing yards, fewer turnovers and fewer penalties, which always helps with a win.
It was not all just Mayfield, he had help from Skowronek who lead the team in receiving with 89 yards and despite the run game not being as effective as the passing game, Cam Akers ended with 42 yards on the ground.
Why the Raiders lost
Las Vegas started the game out strong, but struggled to get first downs and could never get a lead comfortable enough to run away with it. Derek Carr finished with a rating of 36.9 compared to Mayfield's 91.4.
The Raiders had a 13-point lead with just over four minutes to go in the game and the Rams driving. The Rams offense had yet to score a touchdown in the game, but the Raiders let up and once they did, they opened up the chance for a comeback. Mayfield saw his opportunity and made the most of it, coming back with quick play, accurate passes and confidence. The Raiders defense lost its steam and in turn, the game.
The Raiders appeared to be improving, but they continue to blow leads and their inability to close games is now becoming a pattern.
The Rams finally got in the end zone and did so at the right time. Cam Akers' 1-yard score capped off a 17-play, 75-yard drive that gave Los Angeles hope.
Play of the game
The play of the game section of the takeaways is now getting an upgrade to: Drive of the Game. Mayfield and the offense he just joined this week had 98 yards to go with 1:45 left in the game and needed a touchdown. With 10 seconds to spare, Mayfield completed the improbable game-winning pass, a play he calls one of the most memorable of his career.
Take a look at the strike to Van Jefferson:
The Rams were facing elimination tonight, with a loss kicking them out of the playoffs, but after a wild comeback, they live to see another chance to qualify (though the chances are still slim). The Rams will face the Packers, another struggling team, next week in Green Bay. Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels will face his former boss next week when the Raiders take on Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots.
Taylor Rapp picks off Carr's pass and the Rams are going to snap their six-game losing streak.
Gay makes it, and the Rams are ahead 17-16. 8-play, 98-yard drive that included Mayfield's 32-yard completion to Skowronek and his 23-yard, go-ahead score to Jefferson.
Van Jefferson catches Mayfield's touchdown pass and the Rams an extra point away from the lead. They went 98 yards in less than 90 seconds. Incredible.
Skowronek with another catch and Mayfield spikes it at the 23 with 15 seconds left.
Ben Skowronek with an amazing catch as the Rams near the 30 with 30 seconds left.
Wow, unsportsmanlike conduct on Jerry Tillery gives the Raiders a first down after a sack. Tillery knocks the ball out of Baker's hands after the play.
DPI against the Raiders gives the Rams a fresh set of downs while negating an interception. Rams have the ball at their own 22 with 90 seconds left.
Mayfield hits Atwell to set up a third and short. Atwell now has six catches tonight after having six all year entering this game.
Huge roar from the crowd after the Raiders pin the Rams inside the 5-yard-line. It's safe to say its a partisan Raiders crowd in L.A.
Rams go for it on fourth-and-1, and a Cam Akers reception in the left flat gets it. Akers punches it in on the next play, capping a 17-play, 75-yard drive. 16-10.
If you had Raiders -6.5 like me, you're nauseous.
Was thinking the same thing. He's clearly compromised. He's walking with a slight limp and is barely moving his injured hand.
Raiders are not shying away from Jacobs at all. Three straight touches go to him. Call me crazy but a right hand injury to a running back scares me.
Very nice pass from Mayfield to Atwell on third-and-10 for a gain of 13. Mayfield has only throw for 143 yards, but he's looked pretty solid. He's confident in his play -- that's really stood out to me.
Additionally, for fantasy purposes, Mayfield really likes this Atwell guy. He has seven targets now.
Raiders score the first points of the second half with a 36-yard field goal. It caps an 11-play, 31-yard drive.
I kind of thought McDaniels would want to stomp L.A. in this second half. That has not happened at all.
You could lip read McVay saying "Come on man, you can't do that" following Shelton's penalty. This is why the Rams are 3-9, among other reasons.
Raiders extend their lead to 16-3. Jacobs the Raiders' workhorse tonight with 90 yards and a TD on 24 carries. Also has two catches for 15 yards.
Penalties completely destroy what appeared to be a promising drive. Rams get down to the Raiders' 29-yard line, but two penalties push them back. Matt Gay attempts a 61-yard field goal from the Raiders' 43-yard line, and misses wide left.
By the way, Josh Jacobs is back in the game.
Mayfield throws up almost a Hail Mary -- but Tutu Atwell draws the PI call on Moehrig. Gain of 41 yards, but that pass really never had a chance in my opinion.
The second half has seen four straight punts. Let's see if Baker Mayfield can get something going here. Rams getting him out of the pocket on the move, I'm expecting him to run a bit more.
Josh Jacobs to the locker room.
Going to be interesting to see if Jacobs comes out for this possession. Appears to have injured on his hand on his last carry.
One would think that the Rams would mandate two blockers on him on every play. Crosby single-handily ended the Rams' last drive with a deflection and tackle of Mayfield on third down.
So ... this Maxx Crosby guy is pretty good at football.
It looked like Josh Jacobs had fumbled, but he was clearly down. Raiders aren't going to get that third-and-5 after a Carr scramble. Decision time.
Davante Adams has caught 2 deep balls on Jalen Ramsey— Doug Clawson (@doug_clawson) December 9, 2022
He is the only player with 2 catches on throws 30+ air yards in a game against Jalen Ramsey since 2017
HALFTIME: Raiders 13, Rams 3
First downs: LV 15 LAR 4
Total yards: LV 235 LAR 95
Third downs: LV 4-7 LAR 2-5
TOP: LV 19:50 LAR 10:10
Derek Carr: 9/13 126 yards 1 INT
Baker Mayfield 3/6 65 yards
Josh Jacobs: 18 carries for 58 yards 1 TD
Cam Akers: 8 carries for 26 yards
Davante Adams: 3 catches for 71 yards
Mack Hollins: 2 catches for 22 yards, 3 rushes for 40 yards
Oh no. Derek Carr was bumped by his offensive guard, and threw up a terrible pass that was picked off by Ernest Jones in the end zone. Unfortunate for the Raiders, as they had gone 73 yards on 10 plays down to the 10-yard line.
Jalen Ramsey gets beat again by Davante Adams -- this time for a gain of 35 yards.