The Los Angeles Rams are seriously considering starting Baker Mayfield at quarterback Thursday night against the Las Vegas Raiders.
Before making a decision, the team wants to see how last week’s starter, John Wolford, is doing after pregame warmups, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. But if Wolford is unable to go with a neck injury, Mayfield will get the nod after joining the team off waivers just two days ago.
If that’s not a sign of an all-time Super Bowl hangover, I don’t know what is. At 3-9, the Rams are trending toward the worst season ever by a defending champion. And now they’re considering starting a stranger who was quite literally the worst player in the NFL at the sport’s most important position.
Source: Rams want to go through pregame warmups tonight and see how John Wolford – who is listed as questionable with a neck injury – is doing before deciding who will start at QB. If Wolford is not healthy enough to play, Baker Mayfield would be in line to start vs. the Raiders. pic.twitter.com/p1rK5kvEnq
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 8, 2022
I don’t know who the person is that would seriously consider betting on the Rams in the state they’re in right now. But I’m here to tell you don’t, especially if Mayfield starts.
The Raiders are favored by 6.5 points on the road, and it’s not hard to see why. It was tough to trust the Rams when their title-winning duo Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp were healthy. That’s especially the case now with their current whittled down roster, even with how disappointing the Raiders have been.
At DraftKings, 70% of money on the spread and 88% of the moneyline handle is on the Raiders.
Picking the Rams with Wolford in his second start would be one thing. But Mayfield is a special case. Of 31 qualified quarterbacks, he has the worst QBR in the NFL at 18.3. That’s more than 10 points lower than the next-worst quarterback, Davis Mills at 29.7.
Mayfield posted that rating with the team he started the season with and had time to get acclimated with. Still, he had a lower rating than Panthers backups P.J. Walker and Sam Darnold.
On the Rams, Wolford has a slightly higher rating in minimal action at 20.5. And Bryce Perkins, who started LA’s first game without Stafford, has a 25.3 rating. That’s not to say Mayfield isn’t or can’t be better than either with time, but it’s asking a lot for him to step in after a couple days on the job and put up points. Carolina only averaged 16 points in games he started.
That’s not good considering LA’s defense is allowing over 230 passing yards per game and the fourth-highest passer rating to opposing quarterbacks. It’s just the type of secondary Raiders wideout Davante Adams can feast on. And though the Rams are better against the run, Raiders back Josh Jacobs is averaging over 160 rushing yards in his last three games.
The Raiders are going to find a way to score points. I’m not so sure about the Rams.
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