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Arizona Cardinals' 2011 Season in Review: What Can Cards Learn to Help in 2012?

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Arizona Cardinals' 2011 Season in Review: What Can Cards Learn to Help in 2012?
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

While there is still plenty of football to be played, for the Arizona Cardinals, 2011 is now in the books. The lockers have been emptied, the autographs signed, and they are now nothing more than fans, watching from home to find out which team will lift Vince Lombardi's trophy, knowing that, at least for this year, it will not be them.

Sure, Larry Fitzgerald and Adrian Wilson still have a Pro Bowl appearance to look forward to. Yes, 8-8 is a much better result than anyone would have expected after a 1-6 start, but if anything, those things just go to underline what could have been.

A few extra wins early on, against the Seahawks, Giants or Redskins—all games which were very winnable for the Cardinals—and we could now be discussing preparations for the wildcard weekend. We could be pondering whether Kolb or Skelton would start, questioning whether Wells would be able to keep his knee injury in check for another few weeks and asking ourselves if maybe, just maybe, we could be on the verge of another miracle run at the Super Bowl.

The season has been frustrating at best, heartbreaking at worst, and always, always, nail biting. 

However, all the Cardinals can now do is learn from it. Use it to improve, to rebuild and to once again challenge for the NFC West title in 2012. 

So, what can the Cardinals take away from 2011? How can they regroup for 2012? Let's take a look, shall we?

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