In recent weeks, the Los Angeles Rams lost two of their most important offensive pieces in quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Cooper Kupp. Thus, the Rams needed someone to step up to become a bright spot in an otherwise dreary season, and they were able to get it from Baker Mayfield of all places, after LA claimed the first overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft off waivers following his release from the Carolina Panthers.
Mayfield stunned the entire NFL world after he put the Rams on his back late in the fourth quarter of their Thursday night clash against the Las Vegas Raiders. Down 16-3 late in the period, the Rams appeared to be dead in the water. But Mayfield, against all odds, led two touchdown drives, including an impressive 98-yard scoring push, while the Raiders’ offense sputtered, culminating in a 17-16 victory for the reigning Super Bowl champion.
Baker Mayfield impressed many with his late-game heroics, including his head coach Sean McVay, who couldn’t pass up the opportunity to reference Tom Brady’s instantly iconic postgame presser. But Cooper Kupp, relegated to the sidelines, was exhilarated that the team’s newest addition was able to make such a huge impact in his debut.
“Proud of these guys!! No quit baby! And welcome to LA, @bakermayfield !” Kupp wrote on his official Twitter account.
In Kupp’s absence, Ben Skowronek, Chatarius Atwell, and Van Jefferson (who scored what ended up being the game-winning touchdown) picked up the Rams’ receiving slack.
Stafford suffered a brutal neck injury last week, which is feared to be serious enough to keep him out for the rest of the season, while Kupp had surgery on his ankle in late November, which could force him out for a considerable amount of time much like his quarterback.
For the meantime, the keys to the Rams offense will be in Baker Mayfield’s hands, for better or for worse. But after this kind of performance, there is enough reason to be hopeful about a potential Mayfield renaissance.