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Cardinals vs 49ers results: 7 things we learned in Arizona 20-17 loss

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The Cardinals regular season is over, and it ends on a sour note, with another loss within the division, but it was not all bad this week.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The end of the regular season is here, some have said the season ended when Drew Stanton went down, but for the first time in his career, Ryan Lindley looked like he belonged on an NFL field... at times.

What did we learn?

The offense can move the ball with Lindley

Ryan Lindley set career highs in passing yards, touchdowns and did a good job overall, but asking Lindley to be Carson Palmer, or even Drew Stanton is asking too much.

Lindley threw three interceptions on the day, in 39 attempts, which is just asking too much of Lindley.

He made some really good throws in the game, but he also showed why he was beaten out by Logan Thomas.

The best thing that happened though was Lindley was able to find the endzone, not once, but twice, throwing the first two touchdown passes of his career.

The three interceptions will look bad, but in the end, it's as much on Arians for asking him to throw the Cardinals to a win.

Michael Floyd showed up

Floyd continues to vex fans, who have almost unanimously decided he is not, in fact the future number one wide receiver on the Cardinals roster, but he is likely one of the better number two wide receivers in the NFL.

While he disappears for stretches during the season, he can put up huge games, finishing with 8 catches for 153 yards and two touchdowns.

The six touchdown receptions is a career high for a season, and he made plays all over the field today, as opposed to just being a deep threat, which is important.

The running game can be trusted

Arians just has to rely on it more.  Trailing 20-17 at the beginning of the fourth quarter, Arians ran the ball two times for the entire quarter, both Kerwynn Williams carries, for nine yards.

From there, it was 12 Ryan Lindley passing attempts.

It goes back to what we talked about in the Lindley section.  He can be a quarterback to keep you in a game, but asking the offense to be carried by Lindley is a bad idea.

Going into the fourth quarter, the Cardinals were at a 27/23 pass/run ratio.  They ended 39/25.

Williams and Taylor were workmanlike, gaining 93 yards on 24 carries.

Lean on the running game against Carolina, Coach.

Speaking of Carolina

This probably was the worst match up the Cardinals could have imagined going into the first round of the playoffs, as the Cardinals defense has been shredded by dual threat quarterbacks the last two weeks.

While Matt Ryan and the Falcons laid into the Cardinals not to long ago, that is still a better match up for the Cardinals in the playoffs.

Carolina and Cam Newton have won four straight and found a way to get to the playoffs, much of it on the back of their running game and Newton's ability to make defenses play 11 on 11 football.

The defense looks gassed

Much was made on the year of how much the Cardinals offense was hurting the Cardinals defense, and while the offense was putrid last week against Seattle, getting 17 points out of Ryan Lindley should be enough for a Cardinals victory, and it was only three weeks ago.

This defense has to find a way to stop the run, create havoc in the backfield and force turnovers.

If the Cardinals defense of the last two weeks turns up in Carolina, it will not matter who is playing quarterback (outside of Aaron Rodgers).

The Cardinals are in the playoffs and that is a step forward

From 10-6 to 11-5, that is a step forward, even if that step is lined with body bags of Cardinals casualties.

Good riddance Jim Harbaugh

The Cardinals may be one of the happiest groups when it comes to the change over from Harbaugh to whomever the 49ers tag as the next head coach.

2-6 during his tenure as 49ers head man, that is not a good record against a divisional opponent.