BTW, Baker Mayfield, let’s introduce you to the LA Rams WRs

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s hard to imagine the scenario of deplaning at the airport, getting whisked through onboarding for a new NFL organization, and trying to learn the names and personalities of 60+ teammates, numerous coaches, executives, and support staff. Then, to top it all off, try to huddle with persons who you may or may not even have met formally, on a football field, on Thursday Night Football, televised on Amazon Prime, in front of the nation.

And doing all of that with the weight of trying to mount a 14-point comeback victory in less than 13 minutes remaining in the game? (Insert the sound of With a Little Help from my Friends by the Beatles circa 1967, remastered in 2009). Well, that was the situation that awaited the newly arrived LA Rams quarterback, Baker Mayfield.

No, his numbers would not shake the foundations of the NFL record books. Mayfield would end the night with a rather meh set of boxscore stats that would list him as having completed 22 of 35 passes for 230 yards and one touchdown. He also added four runs for 10 yards to the mix. He was sacked four times for a loss of 19 yards in the game as well. Nothing too special about that, right?

Introductions to the LA Rams wide receivers may be in order

Well, it is pretty impressive when you realize that it’s been a whirlwind 48-hours for the new LA Rams quarterback. In the process of learning a new playbook, new coaching staff, and completely new surroundings, you have to wonder exactly how much introduction did he get with the receivers that he threw to on Thursday Night Football?

For example, did he know that he had targetted second-year receiver, Ben Skowronek, the most times in the young man’s NFL career? Did he realize that Skowronek’s seven receptions out of those eight passes for 89 yards set a new career high?

Did he know that his nine throws to wide receiver Tutu Atwell were also a high-water mark in that young man’s career? Or that Atwell’s five catches on the night nearly doubled the number of career receptions made by the LA Rams receiver? Perhaps even more importantly, those five receptions for 50 yards proved that Atwell was not a one-trick pony, a speedster who was only good for racing deep and that Tutu Atwell could be counted on to be a possession-type receiver as well.

The game of football should be a fun game, after all

Did he know that when he threw the game-winning touchdown to LA Rams third-year wide receiver Van Jefferson, Jefferson had never been asked to catch the game-winner as time ran out? Did he know that while this would be the tenth touchdown of Van Jefferson’s career, no touchdown would be as important as this one?

Did he know that the two passes thrown to LA Rams WR Austin Trammell would be the third and fourth NFL passes of his rookie season? Did he know that the five-yard reception would only be the second NFL catch of Trammell’s career?

In the end, the LA Rams had enough talent remaining on the Rams roster to win this one. Receivers who have not been asked to be heroes on this team, found themselves tasked with catching a football from a quarterback who they each had just met. As complicated as we try to make this game of professional football, it comes down to a game after all. And with no preconceived notions, the LA Rams newly arrived quarterback played the game of football at its most basic level possible.

Baker Mayfield had fun playing a game that he loved. And the Rams receivers, a talented group who may have forgotten that it’s all about having fun playing the sport that they love, joined him on a very special night.

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