One epic drive won’t be enough to save Baker Mayfield


With a game-winning 98-yard drive last Thursday night against Las Vegas, Rams QB Baker Mayfield turned heads throughout the NFL.

But the former No,. 1 overall pick must do much more to revive a career that’s one step from the dumper.

Per Football Outsiders, Mayfield ranks last in their Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement (DYAR) metric. DYAR takes into account a QBs opponent and the situation and evaluates their performance against that of a replacement-level QB.

Mayfield’s completion percentage (58.8 percent) is second worst among QBs with at least 200 passes, ahead of only Zach Wilson, the Jets QB benched for the second-best Mike White on TVs this season.

Football Outsiders’s Vincent Verhei noted Mayfield had arguably his best game of the season in his first game with the Rams. He cautioned, however, that it came against the worst pass defense in the league.

Mayfield, chosen No. 1 overall by the Browns in the 2018 NFL Draft, inspired a turnaround in Cleveland sooner than anyone anticipated. But the team plateaued after a promising 2020 season stalled in a 22-17 divisional-round loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. The team traded for Deshaun Watson this past off-season.

In six starts with the Panthers, Mayfield was 119-of-206 (57.8 percent) for 1,313 yards with six touchdowns and six interceptions. He was cut on Dec. 5 and claimed on waivers by the Rams the next day. If Mayfield doesn’t resurrect his career as a Ram, he could be entering the phase of his career where he’s considered nothing more than a backup.

The Rams (4-9) are an afterthought this season. Mayfield hopes the same fate doesn’t await him after four more games.

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