INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Baker Mayfield threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Van Jefferson with 10 seconds to play for a 98-yard drive and the Los Angeles Rams rookie quarterback led two TD drives in the fourth quarter of the year. On Thursday night, Las Vegas defeated the Raiders 17-16.
Two days after the Rams (4-9) waived Mayfield from Carolina, the former No. 1 pick went 22 of 35 for 230 yards and dramatically snapped the Super Bowl champions’ six-game losing streak.
Los Angeles trailed 16-3 after Daniel Carlson’s third field goal with 12:20 to play, but Mayfield engineered a 75-yard drive capped by Cam Akers’ TD run with 3:19 to play.
The Los Angeles defense stopped Derek Carr and the Raiders at the 2-minute mark, but AJ Cole threw a 64-yard punt at the Rams 2. Undaunted and without any timeouts, Mayfield took the Rams down — with plenty of help from unsportsmanlike behavior. After the game, Raiders’ Jerry Tillery was penalized for knocking the ball out of the hands of a defender.
The Rams got to the Vegas 23 with 15 seconds left, and Mayfield immediately found Jefferson in the back corner of the end zone. The drive included a contested 32-yard reception by Ben Skowronek, who finished with seven catches for 89 yards.
Josh Jacobs rushed for 99 yards and the only touchdown for the Raiders (5-8), whose three-game winning streak ended in humiliation. Less than four weeks after former ESPN analyst Jeff Las Vegas lost his NFL coaching debut with Indianapolis on Saturday, the Raiders lost a quarterback who joined his new team 48 hours before the game.
Carr passed for 137 yards with no TDs and two interceptions, including a game-breaking tackle at halfback.
Coach Sean McVay quickly turned his offense over to Mayfield in place of John Wolford and Bryce Perkins, who have been ineffective in recent weeks in place of injured Matthew Stafford.
Mayfield had a terrible season for the Panthers, but he sparked the Rams with a few big plays and decent drives despite having minimal knowledge of McVay’s offense.
With McVay giving detailed instructions to his helmet before each play, Mayfield sparked the Rams with three completions of at least 20 yards on his first two series. Los Angeles has completed just 26 punts in its first 12 games — third-most in the NFL.
And after he got hot, Mayfield completed 15 of his 20 passes in the fourth quarter to lead his rookie teammates to two touchdowns.
Jacobs punched it out for the Raiders’ opening drive, and the running back had 18 carries in the first half as Vegas tried to grind the Rams.
Davante Adams had just four targets in the first half, but he had two jaw-dropping touchdowns.
Akers cut Mayfield’s tight second drive short in the red zone, but Rams linebacker Ernest Jones made an end-zone interception with 49 seconds left in the first half to limit Las Vegas’ lead to 13-3.
Los Angeles reached the red zone for the first time with 5 1/2 minutes left in the game, and Akers scored.