The Los Angeles Rams haven't technically been eliminated from playoff contention yet, so they're playing for more than just pride. But on Thursday night, their win over the Las Vegas Raiders was very much about pride.
They stunned the Raiders with a miraculous comeback, erasing a 13-point deficit with two touchdowns in the final four minutes to take down Las Vegas. Baker Mayfield was the biggest factor in it all, but he didn't do it alone.
Here's a look at our studs and duds from Thursday night's victory at SoFi Stadium.
Stud: Baker Mayfield
Even before the game-winning drive, Mayfield was having a pretty solid night, given the circumstances. He was pushing the ball downfield, which was a nice change from the last four weeks, and created some chunk plays through the air. On his first few drives alone, he had completions of 21 yards, 22 yards and 22 yards.
Then on the final game-winning march, he hit Ben Skowronek for a 32-yard gain and the 23-yarder to Van Jefferson to put the Rams up 17-16. He used his athleticism to elude pressure, too, which helped keep the chains moving.
Obviously, the ending was as good as it gets, but Mayfield had already displayed impressive poise and accuracy on the field throughout the night.
Stud: Greg Gaines
No one can replace Aaron Donald, and Gaines certainly isn't trying to do that. But the game he had on Thursday night helped make up for the absence of No. 99. Gaines did an excellent job as a run defender against the league's leading rusher, Josh Jacobs, but he was also very good as a pass rusher despite not recording a sack. He finished with six tackles and a QB hit, with his pressure late in the first half leading to Ernest Jones' interception. That proved to be a pivotal play in the game.
Stud: Ernest Jones
Speaking of Jones, that pick was a huge shift in momentum. The Raiders were leading 13-3 and threatening to go up 17 points before halftime. Derek Carr threw up a duck toward the end zone, which Jones tapped to himself and came down with for an interception. He finished the game with five tackles and overall had a great night, helping keep Jacobs in check to the tune of 3.7 yards per carry.
Stud: Bobby Wagner
Wagner has been great all season, but he showed up in a huge way for the second week in a row. He finished with a game-high 14 tackles, making a key stop on third-and-5 to force the Raiders to settle for a long field goal early in the game. He also chased down Carr and leveled him along the sideline, keeping him short of the first-down line. There were several other impactful plays made by the future Hall of Famer, particularly against the Raiders' run-heavy attack.
Stud: Ben Skowronek
If Mayfield was Batman in this win, Skowronek was Robin. He was incredibly clutch for his new quarterback, catching seven of eight targets for a career-high 89 yards. The biggest play of the game, aside from Jefferson's winner, may have been Skowronek's 32-yard reception over a Raiders defender on the final drive. This was the best game of his young career so far.
Dud: Entire offensive line
Thursday night was the first time the Rams have started the same offensive line group in multiple games this season. And yet, it was a complete disaster. Rob Havenstein was dominated by Maxx Crosby, Ty Nsekhe couldn't block Chandler Jones, Matt Skura was getting walked back at left guard and Coleman Shelton cost the Rams three points with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. It was a terrible night for the big men up front, failing to protect Mayfield with any sort of consistency.
Dud: Cam Akers
Yes, he scored a touchdown late to keep the Rams alive, but Akers did not have a good game. He averaged just 3.5 yards per carry and coughed up an incredibly costly fumble in Raiders territory when the Rams were starting to find a rhythm offensively. His ball security issues have come at the worst times the last two years, whether it was the one against the Raiders or at the goal line earlier this season.
Story originally appeared on Rams Wire