TNF winners, losers: Mayfield leads stunning comeback days after arrival
The Los Angeles Rams played a home game Thursday night, but the atmosphere inside SoFi Stadium didn’t appear that way.
Playing in front of a plethora of Raiders fans, the Rams stunned the franchise that once called Los Angeles home, 17-16, on Thursday night.
The win snapped a six-game losing streak for the defending Super Bowl champion Rams and ended a three-game winning streak for a Raiders team trying to make a playoff push.
Thursday was the first time the Raiders and Rams faced off in Southern California since Nov. 13, 1994. Here are the winners and losers from the Week 14 tilt:
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Baker Mayfield gets win after showing up this week
Mayfield was claimed off waivers by the Rams on Tuesday and played nearly the entire game for the club on Thursday. He predictably had some communication issues with players, and it was clear he didn’t have a full grasp of the playbook (nobody would in 48 hours).
But Mayfield caught fire and was more comfortable in the fourth quarter. He led the Rams on a 17-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to close the deficit to 16-10.
The Rams defense then forced the Raiders offense to a three-and-out and Mayfield and the Rams went on an eight play, 98-yard game-winning touchdown drive to seal the victory.
On the game-winning drive, Ben Skowronek had a big 32-yard catch to put the Rams in business. A few plays later, Mayfield threw a beautiful 23-yard touchdown throw to Van Jefferson. The two plays were probably Mayfield’s best passes of his roller-coaster season.
Mayfield finished the game 22-of-35 passing for 230 yards and a touchdown.
“It’s a pretty damn good story,” Mayfield said after the game, per the Associated Press. “I’ll be honest with you. It’s pretty special. … I love to compete. I love this game.”
Ben Skowronek, Van Jefferson and Tutu Atwell
Mayfield had a solid rapport with the three players after just meeting them this week. The trio combined for 14 receptions, 183 yards and a touchdown.
The three were huge down the stretch for a Rams team playing without Matthew Stafford (neck) and Cooper Kupp (ankle).
Bobby Wagner leads defense without Aaron Donald
Wagner, like he’s been throughout his entire career, was a tackling machine.
He was around the football all night. He had a game-high 14 tackles, including a huge tackle on third-and-1 late in the fourth quarter that led to a Raiders punt.
The Rams scored the game-winning touchdown on the next possession.
The Rams defense held the Raiders to just 20 yards in the fourth quarter and three points in the second half.
Wagner, Jalen Ramsey and the Rams defense came up with crucial stops while Los Angeles’ offense struggled through most of the game.
The Raiders were only able to convert one first down in the fourth quarter.
Maxx Crosby disruptive again
Crosby came into Thursday with a league-leading 17 tackles for loss. Crosby had four tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack in the defeat.
The Raiders defense allowed 144 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. With under two minutes remaining, they surrendered a 98-yard game-winning touchdown drive.
Las Vegas held the Rams offense to 95 total yards in the first half, but it fell apart in the fourth quarter.
Jerry Tillery flagged late in the fourth quarter
Tillery was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct following a Raiders sack on first down in the fourth quarter with under two minutes remaining after he knocked the ball out of Mayfield’s hands. The penalty gave the Rams life on their game-winning drive.
Derek Carr throws two picks
Carr had a disappointing night. The Fresno State product failed to throw a touchdown and had two interceptions, including a pick in the end zone.
Carr was 11-for-20 passing for 137 yards and had two interceptions in the loss. It was an uninspiring performance from the QB.
Rams QB John Wolford
Wolford came into the night nursing a neck injury. He got the start but went three-and-out and didn’t complete a pass in his first and only series. Mayfield checked in for Wolford and played the rest of the game.
Wolford probably wont play ahead of Mayfield the rest of the season.
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Tyler Dragon on Twitter @TheTylerDragon.