INGLEWOOD, Calif.--The 2022 Las Vegas Raiders, who have had some low points this season, simply hit rock bottom.
In only his second day with the Los Angeles Rams, quarterback Baker Mayfield threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Van Jefferson with 10 seconds left in the game to beat the Raiders, 17-16, Thursday Night Football at Sofi Stadium.
Seven of the Raiders’ eight losses this season have come by less than a touchdown, and this is the fourth time they have blown a double-digit lead.
Mayfield, who signed as a free agent early this week after he asked for and received his release from the Carolina Panthers because he was demoted third string, led the Rams (4-9) on a 98-yard touchdown drive in the final 1:45 by completing 5-of-6 passes for 80 yards on the game-winning.
The biggest throw went to wide receiver Ben Skowronek for 32 yards to the Las Vegas 40-yard line before hitting running back Malcolm Brown for eight yards and Skowronek for nine more before throwing the game-winner.
The Raiders (5-8), who had their three-game winning streak snapped, lost an interception by safety Duron Harmon on the final drive when cornerback Amik Robertson was called for pass interference on third down from the Los Angeles 11-yard-line.
On the next play, defensive tackle Jerry Tillery was called for unsportsmanlike conduct for knocking the ball out of Mayfield’s hands after a sack by defensive ends Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones, giving the Rams some field position and momentum in the final minute and a half.
The Raiders held a 16-3 lead after Daniel Carlson kicked a 36-yard field goal with 12:20 left in the game, but Mayfield hit Jefferson with a 21-yard pass to spark a 75-yard drive in 17 plays that running back Cam Akers capped with a one-yard to make it 16-10 with 3:19 left.
The Raiders went three-and-out, giving the ball to running back Josh Jacobs on all three plays, and after he ran for eight yards on second down, he was stopped for no gain on third-and-1, and Silver and Black were forced to punt at the two-minute-warning.
That gave Mayfield and the Rams their last desperate chance, which they were able to convert.
Mayfield, the NFL’s No. 1 overall draft choice by the Cleveland Browns in 2018, completed 22-of-35 passes for 230 yards with the winning touchdown and no interceptions after cram session of the Rams playbook the last few days.
Skowronek caught seven passes for 89 yards, wide receiver Tutu Atwell had five catches for 50, and Jefferson made two catches for 42, including the game-winner.
The Raiders built a 13-3 halftime lead as Jacobs capped a 75-yard, 12-play scoring drive with the opening kickoff, and Carlson kicked field goals of 52 and 31 yards as Las Vegas held the Rams to a 55-yard field goal by Matt Gay.
Jacobs rushed for 99 yards on 27 carries and was held under 100 for the first time in the last four games, while quarterback Derek Carr completed 11-of-20 passes for 130 yards as the Raiders played conservatively after going ahead early.
In addition, Carr threw a costly interception on third down to linebacker Ernest Jones in the end zone 49 seconds left in the first half, when in the long run, another field goal by Carlson would have made a big difference.
Had the score been 19-3, the Rams would have needed two-point conversions after their touchdowns just to tie the score.
Davante Adams made three catches for 71 yards, but all of them came in the first half, and Mack Hollins caught four passes for 22 yards while rushing three times for 40 yards.
Cornerback Nate Hobbs led the Raiders with nine tackles, linebacker Denzel Perryman had seven stops, and cornerback Sam Webb made six.
Crosby had four tackles, a sack, three quarterback hits, two tackles for losses, and a pass defensed, while Jones made three tackles, a sack, and two quarterback hits in addition to forcing and recovering a fumble. Robertson and defensive tackle Bilal Nichols also sacked Mayfield.
The Raiders will have several extra days off before returning home to Allegiant Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 18, to play the New England Patriots before going out on the road again to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh for a Saturday night game on Christmas Eve.
The Silver and Black will wrap up the regular season with home games against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Jan. 1, and the AFC West rival Kansas City Chiefs on either Saturday, Jan. 7, or Sunday, Jan. 8.
The Raiders' game against the Patriots will kick off at 4:05 p.m. EST/1:05 p.m. PST and can be seen on FOX.
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