The Arizona Cardinals got the win in Oakland to improve to 5-1 on the season. They have a two-game lead in the division in the loss column. But looking back at the 24-13 win over the Oakland Raiders, what was good and what was not so good?
A running game!
Arizona rushed 37 times for 123 yards. It showed a commitment to running the football, something that previously the Cardinals had not done, especially since Jonathan Dwyer was placed on NFI. Not only did Andre Ellington get 24 carries, but Stepfan Taylor got 12. Taylor had carried the ball six times in the previous five games.
Getting ahead early
Against bad team, you don't want to let them think they can win. By getting out to a 14-0 lead, the Cardinals had Oakland playing catchup from the first quarter. They would pull within one (see the bad), but they never had the lead and, once the game got close, the Cardinals put it away with the ensuing drive.
Carson Palmer got almost everyone involved in the offense. Yes, it was a show for the running backs, but Palmer completed passes to nine different players (and it would have been to 10, but a pass play to Robbert Hughes was erased by a penalty). Tight end Darren Fells was the only skill player not to catch a pass.
Andre Ellington was the star
He had 160 yards of total offense and touched the ball 30 times. He was a workhorse.
It was touched on in "what we learned," but once again we saw the team not finish a half strongly. They had a 14-0 lead, but allowed a big play, which led to the Raiders' only touchdown. Then, on the next offensive possession for Arizona, they turned the ball over. Oakland got a field goal on that turnover, which made the half end on a sour note.
Running game still not effective
Yes, the Cardinals ran the ball a lot, but it wasn't super effective. They averaged 3.3 yards per carry. Against the league's second-worst rush defense, you would hope to gain more than that per carry. They were stopped for six plays of negative yards, losing 16 yards on those plays.
To contrast, the defense held Oakland to 56 rushing yards on the game, but there was not a single negative rushing play by the Raiders.
Carson Palmer threw his first interception of the season. It wasn't going to all season, but that particular turnover made things interesting late in the first half.
Lack of pass rush
Oakland's offensive line has been very good this season at protecting Derek Carr, but he had all day to throw. Larry Foote got a sack, but otherwise Carr had all the time in the world. We'll see in the tough stretch of games the rest of the way if that will eventually bite them in the butt.
Was there anything else noteworthy, good or bad?