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Baker Mayfield Stuns NFL Twitter with Game-Winning Drive as Rams Beat Raiders

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 9, 2022

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Baker Mayfield (17) celebrates a touchdown by wide receiver Van Jefferson during the second half of an NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Baker Mayfield joined the Los Angeles Rams on Tuesday. By Thursday, he was a hero.

Against all odds, Mayfield led the Rams on a 98-yard, game-winning touchdown drive—in a minute and 35 seconds with zero timeouts—to catapult them to a shocking 17-16 win over the Las Vegas Raiders.

Los Angeles Rams @RamsNFL

This TD from <a href="https://twitter.com/bakermayfield?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@bakermayfield</a> ➡️ <a href="https://twitter.com/VanJefferson12?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@VanJefferson12</a>!<br><br>📺 <a href="https://twitter.com/NFLonPrime?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFLonPrime</a> | 📲 <a href="https://t.co/4beUdmlymg">https://t.co/4beUdmlymg</a> <a href="https://t.co/xska07A2VD">pic.twitter.com/xska07A2VD</a>

NFL @NFL

.<a href="https://twitter.com/bakermayfield?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@bakermayfield</a>'s been on the team for two days.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LVvsLAR?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LVvsLAR</a> on Prime Video<br>Also available on NFL+ <a href="https://t.co/m65o43ZLpv">https://t.co/m65o43ZLpv</a> <a href="https://t.co/IBLV37Ufgh">pic.twitter.com/IBLV37Ufgh</a>

NFL @NFL

Baker throws a strike on 3rd &amp; 13 🎯<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LVvsLAR?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LVvsLAR</a> on Prime Video<br>Also available on NFL+ <a href="https://t.co/m65o43ZLpv">https://t.co/m65o43ZLpv</a> <a href="https://t.co/QffBAxFzMS">pic.twitter.com/QffBAxFzMS</a>

Mayfield finished 22-of-35 for 230 yards and one touchdown with zero interceptions. He was sacked four times.

And NFL Twitter was beside itself:

JJ Watt @JJWatt

Joining the team on Tuesday and winning a game on Thursday at the quarterback position is absolutely incredible.<br><br>There are some positions that you can plug into a new team/system somewhat easily. QB has to be by far the hardest.<br><br>Damn impressive Baker.

Jeff Howe @jeffphowe

Truly unbelievable performance by Baker Mayfield. Just led a 98-yard game-winning drive in his 56th hour as a Ram.

Jonathan Jones @jjones9

There's no reason the Rams should have won tonight. A remarkable performance by Baker Mayfield. So damn impressive.

Matt Maiocco @MaioccoNBCS

Words I thought I'd never tweet: That was a simply inspiring performance by Baker Mayfield. Incredible.

timthetatman👑 @timthetatman

<a href="https://twitter.com/bakermayfield?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@bakermayfield</a> MY BOY HAS ICE IN HIS VEINS🥶🥶🥶🥶

Tom Fornelli @TomFornelli

<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MoxieMayfield?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MoxieMayfield</a> is BACK

Justin Tinsley @JustinTinsley

Baker ain't even unpacked his toiletry bag in his bathroom yet and just embarrassed the Raiders on a 98 yard drive to win the game.

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Baker Mayfield…how?

Just think about how weird this was:

Bill Barnwell @billbarnwell

I want to see how far this Baker logic stretches. Wake him up early Sunday morning and tell him he has to start for the Texans in a few hours.

Blaine Grisak @bgrisakDTR

Baker Mayfield arrived in LA two days ago and is running a hurry-up offense. He hasn't been perfect tonight, but impressive in moments.

The Falcoholic @TheFalcoholic

Sean McVay has Baker Mayfield reading T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland for a three yard gain on second down <a href="https://t.co/6qOzuFDzbV">https://t.co/6qOzuFDzbV</a>

Kayla Burton @Kay_Breezy22

<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Rams?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Rams</a> Baker Mayfield and Sean McVay (kneeling in front of the bench) have been in non-stop communication throughout these defensive possessions. <br><br>You can only imagine how much "on-the-go learning" is happening for Mayfield right now between him and this playbook.

There aren't many times in professional sports when coaches, fans or pundits willingly settle on "well, they tried their best" as a satisfactory evaluation of a performance. These athletes are paid millions of dollars to win. Wherever you fall on the contrived "performance trophy" debate, they most certainly aren't handed out in the NFL.

But in this case, given the circumstances, "well, he tried his best" would have sufficed. Had the Rams lost, nobody would have blamed Mayfield.

Instead...heroics. Magical, hardly believable heroics.

Mayfield didn't just save the Rams; he saved the viewing experience for everyone else. This was not an aesthetically pleasing football game for 58 minutes. Mayfield's counterpart, Derek Carr (11-of-20 for 137 yards and zero touchdowns with two interceptions), didn't exactly raise the collective understanding of what peak quarterbacking could be.

But in those final two minutes, Mayfield provided us with a far more compelling story. It's been a struggle for him over the past two years, but he reminded us of the potential that made him the No. 1 overall pick in 2018.

It may be a blip in an otherwise disappointing season for Mayfield and his team for the past two days. But it certainly was a memorable one.