What Baker Mayfield needs to do down the stretch to return in 2023

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

LA Rams’ new QB Baker Mayfield and the LA Rams head into Lambeau field for their week 15 matchup against the Green Bay Packers. The Rams come into this week with a 4-9 record after their late fourth-quarter comeback win at home last week against the Las Vegas Raiders. Mayfield subbed in on the second drive of the game for the offense and had a game that he and Rams fans will never forget. It was an instant NFL Holiday Classic. The Mayfield Miracle.

Despite arriving at the LA Rams with less than 48 hours before Thursday night’s game, Mayfield went 22 of 35 passing with 230 passing yards and one TD. He ended the game with a passer rating of 91.4.

The drive of the game was when Mayfield led the Rams to an eight-play, 98-yard touchdown drive with less than two minutes remaining on the game clock that was finished with a 23-yard TD catch from WR Van Jefferson to win the game for the Rams 17-16 ultimately.

Mayfield showed his teammates, the fanbase, and the league that he has a ton of heart, and he earned a lot of respect in that locker room after pulling off the game he had with only being in LA for less than 48 hours. Below you can see how happy his teammates were for him as they celebrated together in the locker room after the game.

With QB Matthew Stafford out, being on the IR for the rest of the season, Mayfield has a chance to start at QB for the rest of the season. The question is, what does Mayfield need to do /show these last four weeks to stick around next season to back up Stafford or even take over after Stafford decides to walk away in the coming years?

Must Read. Making LA Rams offensive line a strength in 2023 in 3-2-1 steps. light

Needs to be consistent

Consistency is something that has been an issue for Mayfield in his career. Mayfield has shown that he can be a pretty accurate quarterback and has shown he can get better, but also he has shown that he can make some bad mistakes and his stats show how inconsistent he can be. In his 2019 season, he had 22 TD and 21 INT with a passer rating of 78.8 and a QBR of 54.4, according to ESPN. The interceptions were alarming, with only one more touchdown thrown than interceptions thrown.

The following season was the best of his career, and in the 2020 season, he showed a lot of progression. He finished the year with 26 TD and only 8 INT and had a passer rating of 95.9 and a QBR of 65.5. All those numbers were up that year, and he showed what kind of talent he had and how he could get better.

But then, in the 2021 season, he only had 17 TD and 13 INT with a QBR of 40.9. Mayfield is a guy who possesses massive talent at the QB position, which is why he is a former number-one overall pick. That talent level is not always on display. But also, we have seen him hit some rough times.

He needs to show McVay and the Rams that he can be consistent with not turning over the ball and going through his progressions. With all the Rams’ injuries, they don’t have that much talent on the field right now. When a team isn’t that talented individually, the offense can’t turn over the ball and give away possessions. So Mayfield needs to take care of the balls these last few weeks and show he can protect the ball.

Show strong leadership

Since LA Rams head coach Sean McVay has taken over piloting this team some six years ago, one aspect of the LA Rams is that they have a substantial locker room and a good team culture. Players like DL Aaron Donald, QB Matthew Stafford, WR Cooper Kupp, and DB Jalen Ramsey are leaders in that locker room, and Mayfield must also show exemplary leadership. Mayfield has a history at the University of Oklahoma and with the Cleveland Browns, a history where he has been reported that he can be a bit of an annoyance, and that is something that he can’t bring to the Rams.

If he can be a leader in that locker room and have his teammates look up to him, that will rub off on McVay and the coaching staff. There will be a need for a backup quarterback upgrade next year, and I believe Mayfield can be that guy behind Matthew Stafford. Only time will tell how these last four games will go, but I am excited to see what Baker Mayfield can do.

Trending. Week 16 Update: Who the LA Rams need wins/losses from each week. light