In the 2013 season finale, the Arizona Cardinals fell short of a 16-game club record of 11 wins on the season. But as they battled the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, you could tell this was not the same Cardinals team from years past.
They fought back from a 17-0 first-half deficit to tie it up in the fourth quarter, only to see a defensive breakdown lead to a last-second game-winning field goal by 49ers kicker Phil Dawson.
Throughout the action, a few plays stood out. Those plays are this week's candidates for play of the game.
Floyd's 44-yard catch
This reception send receiver Michael Floyd over 1,000 receiving yards and quarterback Carson Palmer over 4,000 passing yards on the season. And it's not the throw that was impressive, it was Floyd's ability to go up in a crowd and come down with the contested ball.
He has shown that to be a strength this season, and as a result, he led the team in receiving in 2013. It's the first time that Larry Fitzgerald has started all 16 regular-season games and not led the team in receiving yards.
Williams' first NFL sack
Not only was this nose tackle Dan Williams' first career sack, it came at a time when the defense needed a stop to allow Palmer and the offense to go tie up the game.
Williams came on an A-gap stunt and was basically untouched by guard Adam Snyder (remember that name?). All Dumpster Dan had to do is chase down Kaepernick, which he did, and bring him down -- which he did.
Palmer-to-Fitz, 49 yards
Palmer's best throw of the game came later, but this second-quarter throw was probably his second-best. It came amid an 88-yard drive that ended when Palmer found tight end Jake Ballard wide open at the back of the end zone for the team's first score.
Fitzgerald didn't have the breakaway speed this season we're all used to seeing. Without hamstring injuries, there is little doubt he would have topped 1,000 yards this year and possibly led the team in receiving once again. This play is an example of Fitz's lack of burst.
Powers saves a score
Vernon Davis could have had a second two-touchdown game against the Cardinals this season. But Jerraud Powers stepped up and knocked a pass out of the hands of the Pro Bowl tight end at the last second to thwart that effort.
Powers and safety Rashad Johnson teamed up to stop Davis most of the afternoon. He had three receptions for 45 yards and a touchdown, but this great play kept the game as close as possible early on.
Roberts' score ties it
Yes, we saved the play of the game for last. This over-the-shoulder game-tying touchdown from wideout Andre Roberts was his best in four seasons with the Cardinals, and it deserves to be recognized.
There is a possibility he won't return in 2014, as he's a free agent and could require too much money to retain. Roberts had his moments in the Valley; as noted in the player-of-the-game piece, eight of his 11 touchdowns either tied the game or gave Arizona the lead. So because of his sometimes lackluster performance but also because of the chance a team sees his potential, this could be the final highlight from Roberts in Cardinal Red.
This was Palmer's best throw of the game, by the way. By far. Perfect location; cornerback Carlos Rogers could not do anything to get to it.