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Season Ends on a High Note ... Sort of

The conclusion of the 2007 season couldn't have come at a much better performance. The Cardinals dropped 48 on the hapless Rams in the team's most lopsided victory of the season.

It was a domination from start to finish. After a shaky first quarter that ended 3-3, the Cardinals took control and by halftime the scoreboard showed 24-6. And though the Rams made an effort to come back, scoring 13 in the third quarter, Arizona pulled away in the fourth. The final score: 48-19.

Edgerrin James fittingly had his third 100-yard performance of the season. Kurt Warner had his fourth 300-yard performance and his third over the past four games.

Unfortunately, because of several critical losses down the stretch, Arizona won't be playing in the postseason. All they really "gained" from the victory was the 16th overall pick in the NFL Draft. It's what made Sunday's victory bittersweet. The Cardinals (8-8) simply didn't do enough this season when it mattered. Whether it was a missed field goal or a fumble, Arizona seemed to make the costly mistakes in the games that meant everything: against Seattle the second time around, a game that would have moved the Cardinals within one game of the division with a win; against the Saints when both teams had Wild Card aspirations.

The Cardinals season was lost because of inopportune mistakes, those that came at critical junctures in the season when things mattered most. Penalties. Turnovers. They were aspects of the game Cardinals fans came to grow intimate with as the team stumbled through the season.

Sunday's game was meaningless. Maybe that's why the Cardinals won it.