NFL

'It's a pretty damn good story' - Baker Mayfield reflects on stunning debut with the Rams

By Sports Desk December 09, 2022

Baker Mayfield called it a "pretty damn good story" after he produced a stunning fourth-quarter comeback against the Las Vegas Raiders to win 17-16 in his Los Angeles Rams debut on Thursday.

Having been cut by the Carolina Panthers on Monday following news he was no longer the starter or the backup, he was claimed by the Rams on Tuesday, and just two days later he was thrust into the action.

John Wolford started the game at quarterback for the Rams, but after two quick Raiders scores, Mayfield trotted out in the first quarter trailing 10-0 and began to figure things out.

His very first play went for a 21-yard completion, and his first drive ended in a field goal, but the Rams were unable to score again until the final minutes of the game.

Trailing 16-3 to begin the fourth quarter, Mayfield put together a 17-play, 75-yard drive, with Cam Akers' short-range touchdown cutting the margin to six points, and he got the ball back with 98 yards to go and just 1:45 on the clock.

He went on to produce the longest go-ahead drive beginning in the final two minutes in the past 45 seasons, culminating in his first touchdown pass as a Ram, a 23-yard dime down the left sideline to Van Jefferson as the Raiders opted to play man coverage with no safety help over the top.

Speaking to the media after the fairytale result, Mayfield reflected on the long, winding journey to Los Angeles.

"I don't know if you can write it any better than that," he said. "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. It's special.

"It feels really good right now, but there's a lot to get fixed, that's for sure. Throughout my career so far there's been a lot of ups and downs, so this is one I'm going to enjoy right now, but there's a lot of things to get ironed out and learn from.

"I'm extremely thankful. It's been a tough year, to be honest with you, and this has been a good way to kick-start this journey here. It's wild."

Joining the Amazon Prime coverage immediately after the win, the former number one overall draft pick was asked where this ranks out of the moments in his career.

"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'm sure happy [the coaches and I] covered the two-minute operation, my goodness.

"It's been a wild year, I'm not going to say otherwise. From being in limbo at the beginning, not knowing where it's going to go, to the last 48 hours here.

"I'm thankful to the guys back in Carolina, to be honest with you, I love those guys, and it sucks I had to leave. But when it works out like this, it's for the best, and I think they understand that."

Mayfield added that he has history with Jefferson, and that him coming down with the winning touchdown catch makes up for any past indiscretions.

"Van and I go back, I'm not very happy with Van until now," he said in jest. "I was trying to get him to come to Oklahoma, but he wouldn't text or call back. He owes me one, and he got me right there.

"I was truly shocked they pressed him up with 15 seconds left, knowing we had no timeouts left. He did a great job winning off the line of scrimmage, and I just put it up for him to go make a play."

The 27-year-old will likely start the remainder of the season with starting quarterback Matthew Stafford out injured, and with Stafford's future up in the air, the Rams' low-cost gamble could end up producing their new number one.

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