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Cardinals vs. Panthers results: 6 things we learned in Arizona's 27-16 playoff loss

It was an ugly game.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

It's hard to write right now. The Arizona Cardinals were eliminated from the postseason by the Carolina Panthers, losing 27-16 on Saturday. It was ugly.

What did we learn?

The first half was an illusion

Arizona entered halftime with a 14-13 lead, but only had 65 yards of offense. It was hoped they would turn things around in the second half and play better offensively, but that lead was definitely fool's gold.

Arizona's defense just isn't good anymore

For whatever reason -- trying too hard, luck with turnovers to start the season -- Arizona's great defense was terrible. In 2013, the rush defense was number one in the league. They were in the top five for two thirds of 2014. But they gave up another 188 yards to the Panthers. There is no sugarcoating it. The defense was awful. They couldn't stop anyone.

The offense was terrible, too

When you set an NFL record for fewest yards gained in a playoff game like the Cardinals did on Saturday, it's bad. They gained 78 yards total. They had 65 in the first half, and it was awful. They had 13 and two interceptions in the second. Just terrible.

Special teams failed

The offense was dreadful, the defense was terrible and special teams was awful. It's a bad mix. Punter Drew Butler had exactly one good punt and it was on a lucky roll. Ted Ginn returned a kick he shouldn't have and then fumbled it. Yuck.

Ryan Lindley was who we thought he was

As had been the case for weeks, Arizona really only had a chance if the Cardinals played superbly on defense and special teams. They didn't, and Lindley led a disaster. He was inaccurate, looked nervous and then turned the ball over twice. What else can you say?

Even the officiating was bad

The refs were very inconsistent in their calls. Were it not for replay, Arizona would have lost a TD and added a fumble to the game's resume. There was really nothing good.


That's all I can handle right now. What were other takeaways?