The Oakland Raiders closed out their 2019 home slate of games with a 20-16 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Up next for the Silver and Black is a Week 16 clash against the Los Angeles Chargers. Here are six observations from the game.
1. The Raiders started fast
One thing that's never been in question; Jon Gruden knows how to build out a play script on gameday.
The Silver and Black came hot out of the gates Sunday afternoon in their home finale, as Derek Carr orchestrated a seven-play, 75-yard drive that was ultimately punctuated by a 40-yard touchdown to Tyrell Williams.
Throughout 2019, when the Raiders have been at their best, they've started fast, and that pattern once again held true, for the most part, against the Jaguars.
As well as the offense played, we have to give major props to Paul Guenther's defense, who put together one of their best collective efforts of the entire season, surrendering just 75 total yards in the first half.
However, all anyone will remember is the final two minutes of regulation.
2. Josh Jacobs returned to work
Throughout the week, one of the biggest storylines surrounding the Raiders was the status of rookie running back Josh Jacobs.
Well, after missing the team's Week 14 loss to the Tennessee Titans, No. 28 got back to work Sunday afternoon at the OACC, and, boy, did he make his impact felt in a big way.
Not only did Jacobs tally 52 yards in the first half, but just his presence in the offensive backfield alone, gave the Raiders a different look that they were missing without him in the lineup.
In total, Jacobs finished with 24 carries for 89 yards.
Jon Gruden and the Raiders' offense has been at its most dynamic, and most effective, when they're able to control the line of scrimmage, and get the dynamic rookie his touches, and that's what happened Sunday at the OACC.
3. Wall Street feasted
Jon Gruden has called Waller the best tight end in the NFL.
Derek Carr has also called him the best tight end in the NFL.
And, if those dudes think he's the best in the league right now, I'm included to agree with them.
By game's end, Waller had recorded eight catches for 122 yards.
The Silver and Black's offense has had no shortage of moving pieces throughout the season, but Waller has been the one, consistent weapon that Carr has had at his disposal.
Throw in the fact that Waller has one of the best backstories in the entire NFL, and I think there should be a lot of No. 83 jerseys given as gifts this holiday season.
4. The Jags' big boys ate
Give credit where it's due, as the Jacksonville defensive line put tougher a nice outing against the Raiders' offensive line.
By game's end, the big fellas up front had tallied four sacks, and really hadn't given Derek Carr much room to breathe all day.
Yes, I know that Tom Cable's group was without the services of Trent Brown on the right side, but all the same, I'm sure that the collective group would have preferred to keep Carr just a little bit cleaner.
Yannick Ngakoue in particular was an absolute beast, tallying one sack, along with a pair of tackles for loss.
At the end of the day though, the Raiders did enough to tally their seventh win, and that's all that matter, regardless of how well the Jags' defensive line played.
5. Maxx Crosby got home, again
Can we officially call Maxx Crosby the steal of the 2019 NFL Draft yet?
After back-to-back games without a sack, the rookie defensive end reemerged in a big way Sunday against the Jags, taking down Gardner Minshew in the second quarter, giving No. 98 eight-and-a-half sacks on the season.
Not only does that number give Crosby the team-lead in sacks, but it also puts him within striking distance of the franchise's rookie record, which he'll have two more chances to reach before the end of the 2019 regular season.
Simply put, the former Eastern Michigan Eagle has been an aberration in 2019, and I think it's safe to say that he's turned himself into one of the best – if not the best – defensive lineman on the Raiders' roster.
Can Mad Maxx get to 10 sacks during his rookie campaign? He'll have two more weeks to do just that.
6. One miss changed the game
What a wild way to end the Silver and Black's final home game of 2019.
After being clinical earlier in the game, connecting on all three of his field goal attempts, Daniel Carlson missed on a 46-yarder with just under 2:00 left which gave the Jaguars life.
Well, Gardner Minshew and Co., took full advantage of that new lease on life, as the rookie quarterback found Chris Conley to give the Jags a 20-16 lead, a mark that ultimately proved to be the final score.
Carlson's kick certainly didn't lose the game for the Raiders, but it was no doubt a critical, momentum swinging play.