State Farm Stadium – home of the Arizona Cardinals – is a beautiful stadium, especially so on a picturesque, 76-degree November day in the desert.
The action on the field between the Cardinals and the visiting Oakland Raiders though? Not so much.
There were turnovers, missed opportunities on both sides, and neither team was able to find much cohesion offensively.
And for the Arizona Cardinals, the miscues started early, as Josh Rosen's first pass of the day is one he'd for sure like to have back.
After feeling the heat from Arden Key, Rosen looked to his left and tried to connect with Larry Fitzgerald; however, the rookie quarterback's toss was an errant one, and Gareon Conley was the beneficiary of the bad decision, as he hauled in his second interception of 2018.
Derek Carr and the offense made sure to take full advantage of the gift from Rosen and Conley, as Carr connected with Jared Cook on a 23-yard pass to give the Raiders an early lead.
However, that early cushion was short-lived as Rosen found the ageless wonder Larry Fitzgerald in the back of the end zone on the ensuing drive, to bring things even at 7-7 halfway through the first quarter.
From there, the team's exchanged scores for much of the Week 11 battle, but when the dust settled, Daniel Carlson connected on a 35-yard attempt as time expired to give the Silver and Black their second win of 2018.
Although the Raiders took care of business, once again, as has been the case for the Silver and Black for much of 2018, the team struggled to limit the big plays.
Not only did Christian Kirk find the end zone on a 59-yard catch and run from Rosen, but David Johnson ripped off a 51 yarder late in the fourth quarter that
That said, give credit where it's due to defensive coordinator Paul Guenther's group.
After playing an improved brand of football last weekend against the Los Angeles Chargers, they doubled down on that effort Sunday, and although the team didn't fly home with a win, there were portions of the
Not only did they force Rosen into a pair of interceptions, the team's pass rush – a topic of discussion all season – was active, making life challenging for the rookie quarterback much of the afternoon.
Offensively, the Raiders were able to take advantage of the porous Arizona run defense, finishing up the Week 11 clash with over 150 rushing yards, and it was a group affair at that.
Doug Martin handled the bulk of the heavy lifting in the first half, but after the intermission, he ceded a majority of the work to the tandem of Jalen Richard and DeAndré Washington, but whatever combination the Raiders trotted out, it worked, as the team tallied up a season-high in rushing yards.
As far as Carr is concerned, although he finished with just 192 yards, I don't think it's really fair to look at his stat line as an accurate representation of his outing.
Already without the services of Martavis Bryant and Jordy Nelson, Brandon LaFell suffered an achilles injury that forced him to leave early as well. The injury bug has descended on the Raiders, and its glare appears to be solely focused on the team's wideouts.
When push came to shove, No. 4 orchestrated a game-winning drive, and gave Carlson a shot to win the game, a shot he made the most of.
After returning to the Bay Area this evening, Coach Gruden and his squad will be back to work tomorrow.
Following the week of prep, the Silver and Black will be back on the road, as they'll head east to take on the Baltimore Ravens in Week 12 action.
Photos of the game action during the Raiders' Week 11 matchup with the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium.