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Baker Mayfield and L.A. Rams story: All the drama wrapped up in six easy steps

The plot simmered for three quarters but ended with a burst of action and a twist at the end

Las Vegas Raiders v Los Angeles Rams
Baker Mayfield gets the Rams back into the win column
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

It’s why we love to watch the NFL. The Los Angeles Rams 17-16 last-second win over the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday night, had all the elements of a story fit for, well, Hollywood.

While the game deserved a studio block buster production, my take on the game was considered too cliche and financing fell through. It grudgingly became a low-budget, Indy, With the script and performances culled from others and CGI work provided by Twitter, it is, I admit, formulaic but comes from the heart.

1. Introduce the protagonist/anti-hero, preferably a down on his luck rebel with gun slinging bravado, snark, and is quick with a quip

2. Tease the story, creating tension and intrigue

3. Outline the conflict facing the main character

4. Throw in a red herring to confuse things or maybe some impending doom

5. Define a turning point

6. Last but not least, send the fans home with a happy ending

It wasn’t just star power, there was a cast of thousands in this epic

Quarterback Baker Mayfield was the star and got all the glamour shots, but the Rams have been getting stellar performances from the supporting cast. Injuries have put little-known understudies under the spotlight and they continue to give spirited portrayals. Their effort finally gets recognized with a win. For the game, only QB#3 Bryce Perkins and newly-acquired guard Zachary Thomas did not see action.

On offense, undrafted free agent linemen Matt Skura, Ty Nseke, and Coleman Shelton played 100 percent of snaps. It wasn’t always a pretty effort by the offensive line, but they held things together enough to pull it out. Two more non-conscript’s, Malcom Brown and Brandon Powell both logged over 25 snaps. Brown played a lot in the fourth quarter, mostly for his blocking ability, but caught a pass on both of the Rams touchdown drives. The wide receiver trio of Van Jefferson, Tutu Atwell, and Van Jefferson all made fine catches and combined for 183 yards on 14 grabs, 13.1 clip. A number of good pass gains were nullified by penalty.

Why the Raiders gameplan didn’t follow the successful formula of shredding the Rams with a short passing game, fans will never know. The Raiders jumped to first half lead and tried to sit on sit with disastrous results. As a unit, the defense allowed only five drives ( 3 punts, 1 missed FG, 1 INT), 67 total yards and 10:23 of possession in the second half.

Rookies DeCobie Durant (CB), Russ Yeast (S), Daniel Hardy (E), Keir Thomas (E), and Lance McCutcheon (WR) all recorded tackles. Earnest Brown saw his first NFL action on the defensive front and had two stops. The undrafted line trio of Michael Hoecht, Marquise Copeland and Jonah Williams combined for 10 tackles, while Bobby Brown added two more.

The coaches deserve a lot of credit as well. McVay had compressed the the offense since Matthew Stafford went down, taking the air out of the football, advancing the running game to control the time of possession, and keep the score close. Raheem Morris and the defense stayed the course, forcing field goals and finally getting some turnovers.

It is only one win in a disappointing season, but hot damn, the future is always bright in Hollywood. I’m ready for my closeup.