49ers vs. Cardinals: 5 negatives in the 23-20 loss

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

This is where we nit pick.

With the Arizona Cardinals losing in Week 17, finding the negatives will be easy, Here are five.

Turnovers:

The Cardinals gave up the ball twice, once on a Carson Palmer interception and the other time on a Rashard Mendenhall fumble. These were the worst type of turnovers. Some you can live with -- like when something fluky like a tipped pass ends up being picked off. However, Palmer's throw was absolutely inexcusable, throwing to the only place on the field that had multiple defenders, Mendenhall's fumble was simply poor ball control. The three points they gave up as a result were the difference in the game.

Jay Feely:

What a way to likely end his many years in Arizona. He misses two field goals. He also hit the game-tying kick, but that won't be remembered because Phil Dawson hit a game winner. He left points on the field. What was worse was that, on the second miss, the could have gone for it instead, as they had other times. Arians showed trust in the veteran kicker and he failed him. Feely was mostly good in his time here, but he had just enough inconsistency that made fans go bonkers.

Early deficit:

Falling behind 17-0 is not something you can do against a team like San Francisco, especially when their defense is one of the best in the league. Arizona had no answer for Anquan Boldin and looked ill-prepared for the game plan that the Niners came out with offensively.

Lack of a running game:

Rachard Mendenhall had his longest run of the season (28 yards), but taking that one run away, the offense gained 56 yards on 20 carries (excluding the one kneeldown). That is a whopping 2.8 yards per carry. That won't cut it. In Week 6, they rushed 21 times for 109 yards.

Pass coverage in the clutch:

After each game-tying score at the end of the game, the defense allowed Colin Kaepernick and company to shred them through the air. Kaepernick went 4/6 for 80 yards. Ouch. The result? Two field goals and a loss.

...

Yes, we will be able to look back at the season and think about how great it was, this loss stings. That never feels good.

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