Updated December 8, 2022 - 10:57 pm
INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Three takeaways from the Raiders’ 17-16 loss to the Rams on Thursday at SoFi Stadium:
1. What happened?
After more than 3½ quarters of mustering hardly a whimper, the Rams ‘offense roared back with two late touchdown drives to pull out a stunning win.
Cam Akers scored on a 1-yard run with 3:19 to play, and Van Jefferson hauled in an acrobatic 23-yard reception from Baker Mayfield with nine seconds left to end the Raiders’ three-game winning streak.
In between, the Raiders’ offense went three-and-out and elected to punt on fourth-and-1. AJ Cole’s kick pinned the Rams at the 2, but the Rams — with no timeouts — went 98 yards in eight plays in 1:35.
Mayfield’s heroics came two days after the former first-round pick was claimed off waivers from the Panthers. He finished 22 of 35 for 230 yards.
The Raiders (5-8) have 10 days off to prepare for what figures to be an emotional game for coach Josh McDaniels against his mentor, Bill Belichick, and the New England Patriots on Dec. 18 at Allegiant Stadium.
Their playoff hopes are all but over.
2. Coming alive
Edge defender Chandler Jones has started to come alive as the Raiders’ season has turned a corner.
The first signs of Jones finally emerging in defensive coordinator Patrick Graham’s scheme came in the overtime victory over the Seahawks two weeks ago. Even though Jones didn’t have a sack, he was credited with eight pressures and recovered his first fumble of the season.
That set up a true breakthrough performance Sunday, as he abused Chargers rookie tackle Jamaree Salyer for three sacks as part of a season-high six tackles.
Jones made his presence felt again Thursday.
He knocked the ball free from the hands of running back Cam Akers with the Rams driving late in the second quarter. Jones not only forced the fumble but also recovered the ball to give it back to the Raiders and prevent a score.
Jones then combined with Maxx Crosby for a sack of Mayfield in the third quarter.
The fumble he forced was the 34th of his career, the most in the NFL since he entered the league in 2012
3. Playing through pain
Josh Jacobs played through a questionable injury designation because of lingering calf and quad issues for a third straight week and did so admirably again.
Now he has another ailment to add to the list.
Jacobs appeared to injure his right hand on a carry late in the third quarter. He went to the locker room and got it taped before returning to the field in time to start the next series.
That set of downs started with a Jacobs carry for 1 yard, a Jacobs reception for 7 yards and a Jacobs 4-yard run for a first down.
After the reception, he vigorously tried to shake the pain off his right hand. A substitute was sent on to take his place before the third-down play, but Jacobs waved him back to the sideline.
Despite the injuries, Jacobs’ workload hasn’t been affected. He carried the ball 18 times in the first half, which tied Tennessee’s Derrick Henry for the most rushing attempts of any player in a first half this season.
He finished with 99 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries.