In the 2013 season finale, the Arizona Cardinals had a chance to do something no Cardinals team had done since 1974: Win 11 games. The San Francisco 49ers had other plans, however, defeating Arizona, 23-20.
The Cardinals (10-6) started out flat and dug themselves a three-score hole from which they could not recover.
Quarterback Carson Palmer threw an early interception into what appeared to be quadruple coverage—linebackers and defensive backs smothered wideout Michael Floyd over the middle and, ultimately, NaVorro Bowman came up with the pick. Running back Rashard Mendenhall fumbled away the ball on a run play up the middle after hitting a pile with only one arm covering the ball (his forte).
Turnovers are difficult to overcome against good teams. Losing the turnover battle against a team such as the 49ers is going to turn out poorly for most teams.
Here are some takeaways from the season finale.