The Las Vegas Raiders took to the road just four days after their victory over the Los Angeles Chargers to take on the Los Angels Rams in SoFi Stadium, looking for their fourth-straight victory. After an impressive first quarter, the Raiders offense was prevented from getting into the end zone for the rest of the game, and QB Baker Mayfield, with only two days to prepare with his new team after being claimed on waivers, led the Rams to victory in the game’s final moments.
“As a team, we didn’t finish the game right,” QB Derek Carr said after the loss. “We put ourselves in that situation. It’s nobody else’s fault.”
The first pass of the game was intended for WR Davante Adams, who made a spectacular one-handed catch while being held by CB Jalen Ramsey. The Raiders were able to finish their first drive with a touchdown run by RB Josh Jacobs, his 10th of the season.
The Raiders defense was able to get the Rams offense off the field fast after DE Maxx Crosby tackled WR Tutu Atwell for a six-yard loss on third down, forcing a punt.
The Raiders took advantage of the opportunity to put three more points on the board after a successful 52-yard field goal by Daniel Carlson.
The Rams got the ball back and made a change at quarterback, allowing Mayfield to take over at the helm after John Wolford made the start. Mayfield led the team into field goal range on his first drive as a Ram, and after the successful field goal attempt by Matt Gay, the Rams put three points on the board.
After a few screen plays by the Raiders offense, Daniel Carlson responded with a field goal of his own to put the score at 13-3 with 9:44 left in the half.
The Rams got the ball back and made their way into Raiders territory fairly easily. They were looking to capitalize in the end zone, but DE Chandler Jones forced a fumble on RB Cam Akers and recovered that fumble, giving the ball back to Carr and the Raiders offense.
The only good thing to stem from the opportunity was another outstanding catch by Adams on the sideline with defenders all around him. The drive resulted in a interception in the end zone by Carr after he attempted a pass to WR Mack Hollins. Carr’s pass was off-balance and the ball wobbled into Rams hands.
The Raiders entered the half on top 13-3, but the momentum began to shift.
The Rams defense held the Raiders offense to just one field goal in the second half. Mayfield and the Rams offense were able to wear down the Raiders defense by dominating the time of possession.
The Raiders had a chance to close out the game after a spectacular punt by AJ Cole, pinning the Rams on their own tw0 yard line. Mayfield’s third pass of that drive was intercepted by S Duron Harmon, but due to a penalty on Amik Robertson, the Rams maintained possession of the ball. On the ensuing play, DT Jerry Tillery was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct following a Crosby sack, costing the Raiders 15 yards of field position.
Somehow, after being with the team for only two days, Mayfield led the Rams offense down the field and threw a 23-yard touchdown to WR Van Jefferson with just 10 seconds remaining. Gay successfully kicked the extra point, giving the Rams a 17-16 lead. Carr had 10 seconds and one attempt to Adams to try and get in field goal range, but his pass was intercepted, ending the game.
The Raiders fall to 5-8 with the loss, and according to head coach Josh McDaniels, the team’s margin for error is now zero.
“None of us did enough, so… obviously we don’t have much margin for error now.”
If the Raiders have any hope to get into the playoffs, they will have to win out and may need a lot of help. Playoff hopes seem dire, and the team’s leaders in Carr and McDaniels know that.
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