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Baker Mayfield’s ridiculous comeback for Rams could prove costly to Lions

Thanks for nothing, Raiders.

Las Vegas Raiders v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

On Thursday night, the Los Angeles Rams found themselves down six points at their own 2-yard line with just 1:45 left and no timeouts left. It was up to quarterback Baker Mayfield—a player they had added via waivers just two days prior—to drive the entire length of the field with basically no margin for error to win the game.

Unbelievably, Mayfield did it. The former first overall pick went 5-of-7 for 80 yards—throwing to players he had never thrown to before Tuesday—and capped off the drive with an absolutely perfect 23-yard loft to Van Jefferson for the game-winning score with just 10 seconds left.

The jaw-dropping drive didn’t come without a little help from the thoroughly inept Las Vegas Raiders. On the third play of the drive, Mayfield actually threw what would’ve have been the game-sealing interception, but Raiders cornerback Amik Robertson was called for pass interference. On the very next play, Mayfield was sacked for a 9-yard loss that would have resulted in a lot of time knocked off the clock, but Jerry Tillery knocked the ball out of Mayfield’s hands after the play was over—drawing a 15-yard penalty that not only gave the Rams valuable field position, but stopped the clock. From there, it would take Mayfield just five more plays to go 72 yards.

The loss is costly for the Detroit Lions, who have the Rams’ first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Now the Rams are 4-9 on the season, and although they don’t move from their current spot as the fourth-worst team in the NFL, a drop to 3-10 would have moved their draft pick to No. 2 overall. They now seem unlikely to jump the 3-10 Chicago Bears, who have a gauntlet of a schedule left, while Los Angeles still has games against the 5-8 Packers, 3-9 Broncos and 6-6 Chargers.

Here’s an updated look at the 2023 NFL Draft order, using Tankathon’s strength of schedule numbers:

  1. Texans: 1-10-1 (.502 strength of schedule)
  2. Bears: 3-10 (.575)
  3. Seahawks via Broncos: 3-9 (.476)
  4. Lions via Rams: 4-9 (.495)
  5. Eagles via Saints: 4-9 (.505)
  6. Panthers: 4-8 (.452)
  7. Jaguars: 4-8 (.500)
  8. Cardinals: 4-8 (.512)
  9. Colts: 4-8-1 (.505)
  10. Stupid Idiot Raiders: 5-8 (.440)

For now, a top-two pick from the Rams seems unlikely, but if “Thursday Night Football” has taught us anything, it’s that some weird things happen in this league.

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