The Los Angeles Rams won a thriller at home on Thursday Night Football against the Las Vegas Raiders, winning 17-16 thanks to the heroics of Baker Mayfield, Ben Skowronek, and Van Jefferson. No one thought Los Angeles Rams would be relying on those three names to secure a victory in the month of December, but here we are! Who else propelled the Rams to victory for the first time in almost two months?
Here are five stock up and five stock down players from tonight’s win.
1. Baker Mayfield, QB
To get in the game for a Thursday Night Football game after arriving in Inglewood on Tuesday afternoon is a win for Mayfield. Even though there were a few gaffes with knowing plays, Mayfield’s first three completions were 21, 22, and 22 yards.
After that, Mayfield led an impressive 4th quarter drive to cut the Raiders lead to 16-10. But to cap it off, Mayfield led a 98-yard touchdown drive in 95 seconds to give the LA Rams the go-ahead TD and their first win since October 16th.
2. Ben Skowronek, WR
Maybe Ben Skowronek has a new favorite quarterback? Baker Mayfield and Van Jefferson will get the spotlight for the game-winning touchdown, but Skowronek had the biggest catch of the game with a 32-yard leaping grab with a defender draped all over him.
3. Greg Gaines, DL
Greg Gaines had a strong performance without the presence of Aaron Donald and A’Shawn Robinson. He collapsed the interior portion of the pocket throughout all four quarters. His pressure is what forced Dylan Parham, the Raiders left guard, into Derek Carr, who floated an errant pass into Ernest Jones hands.
4. Tutu Atwell, WR
Atwell has come on strong since the season-ending injuries of Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson II. Atwell’s box score did not tell the full story tonight as he caught five receptions (nine targets) for 50 yards, but also forced a 41-yard defensive pass interference call to get the Rams in field goal range. He wasn’t as effective in run plays, but more time and experience will help Atwell know how to better exploit angles, set up blocks, and leverage defenders.
5. Ernest Jones, ILB
Ernest Jones hauled in an acrobatic interception when the Raiders were in the red zone. Jones also had a great run stop on 3rd & 2 to start the 4th quarter. The second-year linebacker has had his ups and downs in year two, but tonight was one of his better performances.
*Bonus* - Van Jefferson, WR
Van did not pace the wide receivers' room and box score, but he started the game with Baker Mayfield’s first completion on a 21-yard connection and sealed the game with his 23-yard touchdown grab.
*Bonus* - Austin Trammell, WR
Trammell’s stat line will not warrant a starting nod, but the 24-year old WR has now seen playing time in consecutive weeks and has receptions in both games. At the very least, Trammell may be working himself into a 53-man spot for next year if the Rams do not bring back Brandon Powell. Trammell has been a Turf Show Times favorite since before he went undrafted in 2021.
1. Rob Havenstein, RT
Maxx Crosby gave Havenstein fits in passing situations. The right tackle has been the one steady presence for the Rams offense this year, but he allowed multiple pressures on Mayfield. Crosby won via power and finesse moves. Havenstein also had a back-breaking (questionable) holding call on 3rd & 10 that wiped out a Tutu Atwell screen play. Big Rob was called for a holding call on Crosby in the 4th quarter, but that flag was declined to force the Rams to punt.
Rob Havenstein picked a terrible week to have his worst game in quite a long time.— Joe Baccamazzi (@JoeMazziFB) December 9, 2022
2. Cam Akers, RB
After three weeks of promising running (39 rushes, 158 yards) from Akers and reclaiming the No. 1 lead back role, Akers stumbled vs. the Raiders. Cam saw the early work with 8 rushes, but only yielded 26 yards. The biggest error was fumbling at the LV 20-yard line after a strong drive by Los Angeles. The turnover cost the Rams in cutting Las Vegas’s lead to one score.
Baker Mayfield was leading a good drive until Cam Akers puts it on the ground pic.twitter.com/PHiJsTFdX4— alex (@highlghtheaven) December 9, 2022
3. John Wolford, QB
Wolford started the game at quarterback, but only for one drive. Despite leading the Rams offense to 23 points last week, Wolford was benched in favor of Baker Mayfield by the second offensive series. Wolford did not even attempt a pass.
4. Coleman Shelton, RG
As soft as the unsportsmanlike penalty was, Coleman Shelton did not put himself in a position that Sean McVay so often preaches to his team. The 15-yard infraction cost the Rams three points as Matt Gay had to attempt a field goal from 61 yards, which he missed wide left. Penalty aside, Coleman Shelton was blown up on an Akers rushing attempt earlier in the game that stalled out a drive.
5. Marquise Copeland, DL
Copeland had two hands to the face (neck) infractions that gave Las Vegas a total of 20 free yards.