Mayfield Miracle on Stadium Drive. LA Rams comeback instant classic
By Bret Stuter
We talked about the LA Rams turning the corner last week. Well, we didn’t realize that the team was about to witness a miracle: The Mayfield Miracle on Stadium Drive. The LA Rams played an instant classic, the type of game that will be talked about for generations to come. There are not enough words to truly discuss the incredible miraculous event that took place within SoFi Stadium on Thursday, December 8, 2022, so I won’t try.
I can share that at one point late in the game, the ESPN Win Probability had the Las Vegas Raiders pegged at well over 98.0 percent to emerge the victor on Thursday Night Football. So much for playing the percentages.
There are no guarantees in life, and certainly not in football. Some fans who had already decided that the LA Rams acquisition of QB Baker Mayfield was another worthless player claimed by a bad team may go silent. Others who refuse to acquiesce to being wrong will merely not talk about what just happened, awaiting some day in the future, where events are less . . . astounding. Then, on the occasion when Mayfield is not playing well? Well, they and all of those ‘The LA Rams have squandered their future,’ narratives will be back.
Don’t be so sure that what is turns into what will be . . .
It’s unfortunate, but many would rather be heard and right than be wrong and enjoy the surprising success of another LA Rams gamble that panned out.
Success? One win. An unexpected, come-from-behind victory in which the LA Rams scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns in a season where the Rams have consistently fallen apart in the second half. This was a game where the Rams’ offense scored just 17 points. But how many will notice the Herculean effort of a depleted defense that allowed just 16 points to an opponent that arrived at SoFi Stadium red hot and scoring almost at will?
The news from this season has had plenty of repercussions. Not only were the Rams wounded and struggling, but the team faced the possibility that veteran QB Matthew Stafford may decide to hang up his cleats and walk away while he can. And who can blame him? He has a Super Bowl ring. He has placed his name in the NFL record books. But even the remotest possibility creates nightmares for the LA Rams’ succession plans. There is no QB ready to take over if Stafford chooses to retire.
In one Thursday Night Football game, everything changed. The entire outlook for the LA Rams’ future has transformed from bleak and gray to new rays of optimism and sunshine on the horizon. No, I’m not talking about the NFL Playoffs here. I’m talking about something so very much simpler. The LA Rams may have found their quarterback successor to veteran Matthew Stafford. Perhaps even more importantly, an NFL quarterback who was unceremoniously run out of two NFL towns may have found a permanent home.