It was this past Tuesday that former No. 1 pick Baker Mayfield landed with the Los Angeles Rams on waivers from his former Carolina Panthers team.
At 3-9 on the season, there was very little reason for the Rams to claim Mayfield outside of their situation at quarterback. Matthew Stafford had been placed on injured reserve, costing him the remainder of the season. The combination of Bryce Perkins and John Wolford left a lot to be desired behind Stafford.
Within two days, Mayfield would be on the field for his new Rams team against the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday night.
What followed defied logic. The veteran castoff found his Rams down 16-10 with under two minutes left and the ball at Los Angeles’ two-yard line. He proceeded to lead the team down the field 98 yards, culminating in a game-winning touchdown to Van Jefferson with just 10 seconds left.
This performance has netted Mayfield the NFC Offensive Player of the Week award from the league in an astonishing turn for the embattled signal caller.
Let’s put some of this into perspective for a second. Mayfield earned the award over likely NFL MVP Jalen Hurts of the 11-1 Philadelphia Eagles. He also took the top spot over a wide receiver in Justin Jefferson who gained 223 yards for his Minnesota Vikings.
But it is not like Mayfield didn’t deserve this award. Playing with mostly backups for a Rams team that had already given up on the season, he completed 5-of-7 passes for 80 yards on that final drive. It was some legendary stuff.
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The backdrop here is Los Angeles already naming Mayfield as their Week 15 starter against the Green Bay Packers for Monday night. It makes perfect sense. Of all three active quarterbacks on the Rams’ roster, he provides the most upside.
This is no small thing with Stafford’s future in question. The Super Bowl quarterback is dealing with a spinal injury in addition to the multiple concussions he suffered earlier in the season. There’s no telling what the future will bring for Stafford moving forward.
- Baker Mayfield stats (Week 14): 22-of-35 passing, 230 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
What we do know is that Mayfield is a couple years removed from being a starting quarterback for a playoff team. While he has fallen on hard times recently, what we saw last Monday night displayed the talent that made him the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft to begin with.