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Rams' Baker Mayfield Was 'Completely Shocked' by Raiders' Coverage on Game-Winning TD

Adam WellsDecember 9, 2022

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 08: Baker Mayfield #17 of the Los Angeles Rams celebrates after throwing the game winning touchdown against the Las Vegas Raiders during the fourth quarter at SoFi Stadium on December 08, 2022 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Fans weren't the only ones baffled by the Las Vegas Raiders' defensive play-calling at the end of Thursday's 17-16 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

Rams quarterback Baker Mayfield told reporters after the game he was "completely shocked" when the Raiders cornerbacks lined up in press coverage on his touchdown pass to Van Jefferson with nine seconds remaining.

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The touchdown capped off an eight-play, 98-yard drive that began with 1:45 left in regulation.

There is a defense of Raiders defensive coordinator Patrick Graham's decision to play the cornerbacks at the line of scrimmage. Jamming the receivers at the snap could have disrupted the timing, allowing the pass rush to get home against a Rams offensive line that has been suspect all season.

Unfortunately for the Raiders, Sam Webb didn't do anything to disrupt Jefferson's route and Mayfield dropped a dime for the touchdown.

Another problem with Graham's call is the Rams were out of timeouts. They were either going to take a shot to the end zone or a quick out to the sideline that would get them closer and stop the clock to run another play.

If the Raiders guarded the sideline and kept everything in front of the end zone, they probably would have won.

While the Raiders will once again look back on blowing another double-digit lead, Mayfield and the Rams get to celebrate something positive for what feels like the first time all season.

The Rams entered Thursday having lost six consecutive games. Mayfield wasn't even on the roster until Tuesday when he was claimed off waivers. He finished 22-of-35 with 230 yards and one touchdown.