Ex-Panthers QB Baker Mayfield hero in Rams win over Raiders

Baker Mayfield had arrived in Los Angeles roughly 48 hours before he was asked to lead the Rams on a 98-yard game-winning drive against the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday.

With no timeouts left, Mayfield — who hadn’t thrown a touchdown pass since Week 9 with the Carolina Panthers — was asked to reach pay dirt with 1:45 left in the game. He had barely spoken with the guys on the field with him, but that didn’t seem to matter.

Mayfield — with the help of back-to-back penalties that combined for 27 yards — led the Rams down the field and hit wideout Van Jefferson for a 23-yard touchdown completion with 10 seconds left on the clock. The eight-play, 98-yard touchdown drive put the Rams up 17-16 and ultimately snapped the team’s six-game losing streak.

Mayfield asked for his release from the Panthers on Monday after interim head coach Steve Wilks told him that he would be the team’s third-string quarterback after the bye week. Mayfield was placed on waivers later that day, and he was claimed by the Rams on Tuesday.

He received a walkthrough with the Rams before he was asked to enter Thursday’s game with two minutes left in the first quarter. Mayfield completed 22 of 35 passes for 230 yards and touchdown, despite knowing a fraction of the playbook and only a few of his teammates.

Mayfield only completed 57.8% of his passes in his seven games (six starts) with the Panthers. He produced 1,313 passing yards, 6 touchdowns and 6 interceptions in Carolina. Two of those touchdowns came in the second half of a blowout loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Following the comeback win over the Raiders, Mayfield will likely lead the Los Angeles offense moving forward. Sam Darnold will start for the Panthers on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field.

Mike Kaye covers the Carolina Panthers for The Charlotte Observer. Kaye previously covered the entire NFL for Pro Football Network, the Philadelphia Eagles for NJ Advance Media and the Jacksonville Jaguars for First Coast News. He is a graduate of the University of North Florida.

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