3 major positives in Arizona Cardinals Week 15 loss to the 49ers

The Arizona Cardinals didn’t beat the San Francisco 49ers, but it doesn’t mean every takeaway from this Week 15 matchup has to be a negative.

San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals
San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals / Norm Hall/GettyImages
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Arizona Cardinals
Dec 3, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Arizona Cardinals place kicker Matt Prater (5) kicks an / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

2 - Special teams continue to click

Another positive takeaway in Week 15, as they have been for most of the season, was the special teams unit. We have discussed kicker Matt Prater a few times this year, and he continues to wow us. Prater finished with 11 points after he went 3 for 3 on field goals with a long of 58 yards, and two extra points. 

Following the game, Prater is now 23 for 26 on field goals, good for an 88.4 percentage, and if you want more fun, the 39-year-old is now an astounding 8 for 10 from 50-plus yards in 2023. Meanwhile, punter Blake Gillikin has also shown up in recent weeks, and this afternoon, he booted two punts for 112 yards, a 56.0 average, and one landing inside the 20. 

Heading into 2024, the Arizona Cardinals have their tandem at kicker and punter should they opt to re-sign Gillikin. But given his overall performance in 2023 which included a 50.1 average and a low 2.5 touchback percentage heading into Week 15, it makes sense to assume he will return.