Baker Mayfield Expected to Start Rams' Final 4 Games of Season, Sean McVay Says

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 9, 2022

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay, left, embraces quarterback Baker Mayfield after the Rams defeated the Las Vegas Raiders 17-16 in an NFL football game Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Baker Mayfield's dramatic, game-winning drive against the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday night appears to have won him the starting spot going forward.

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay told reporters on Friday that Mayfield is expected to serve as the starting quarterback for the final four games of the season.

Mayfield impressed in his first action with the Rams on Thursday night—just two days after joining the team—finishing 22-of-35 for 230 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions. He was sacked four times.

Most importantly, he led the Rams on a 98-yard scoring drive with no timeouts in just a minute and 35 seconds, throwing a touchdown pass to Van Jefferson to secure a 17-16 victory.

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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>

For a player who went from being traded by the Cleveland Browns in the offseason to the Carolina Panthers to being cut midseason in favor of Sam Darnold and P.J. Walker, Thursday's performance was the ultimate redemption arc.

"I don't know if you can write it any better than that," Mayfield told reporters after the game. "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 was one written on a very fast deadline, given his arrival in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

"I was really impressed," head coach Sean McVay told reporters. "I don't know if I would say surprised because I've always been a fan of the things that he was capable of, but to say that I expected this, certainly exceeded our expectations. But it was a lot of fun watching him go to work tonight."

And it appears to have earned him four more chances to go to work as the team's QB1. For Mayfield, it will be something of an audition tape for teams around the league as he hits free agency after the season, providing perhaps one last chance to prove he can still be a starter in the NFL.