Dec 29, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh (right) talks with quarterback Colin Kaepernick prior to the game against the Arizons Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
This is a day I’d rather forget in Arizona Cardinals history. However, it is a day I hope the Cards themselves remember…for a long time. The Cards lost 23-20 after falling down early 17-0 in the first quarter to the San Francisco 49ers. The New Orleans Saints blasted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 42-17 to grab the final playoff spot.
The Cards seemed to come into Sunday’s game ill-prepared for a tough Niners squad that played like the playoff team they are. Before the seats were warm in University of Phoenix Stadium, the Cards were down 17-0 and looked well on their way to be blown out. Slowly though the Cards defense came to life and the offense chipped away at the lead.
It wasn’t until 3:20 left in the game when the Cards tied the game at 17. Then the Niners got a Phil Dawson field goal with 1:45 left to give the Niners a 20-17 lead. With enough time left, the Cards marched down the field and a Jay Feely field goal with just 29 seconds left to tie the game at 20
However, the Cards prevent defense allowed the Niners to quickly get into field position and kick the game-winning field goal as time expired and give the Niners a 23-20 victory and the fifth seed in the NFC Playoffs. Just minutes earlier, the Saints had eliminated the Cardinals with their win.
You can point to several reasons why the Cards couldn’t pull this one out but mainly it rested on the shoulders of the Cards secondary that laid way off the Niners receivers and the foot of Jay Feely, who missed two field goals that could have made the difference on Sunday. However,ultimately the Cards weren’t ready and after expending so much energy in coming back, it just wasn’t enough in the end and the Cards miss the playoffs again and finish the season 10-6.