The San Francisco 49ers needed a win on Sunday to have any hope of winning the division but while they didn’t manage to do that, they still won their final regular season game of the year in dramatic fashion. The Cardinals only knew they needed to win to have a chance at the postseason and even though the Saints won and knocked them out, there was still an electric pulse surrounding the team as they took their NFC West rivals to the brink.
San Francisco had nothing to lose in retrospect but it’s doubtful that the players knew that at the time but that didn’t keep the game from being entertaining to the very end. It all came down to a field goal for the Niners and the Cardinals season ended on a sour note, albeit one that won’t sting nearly as long as it could have.
Arizona is set up great for a run next season and taking the Niners to the wire on Sunday not only built confidence, but it may have shaken a San Francisco team needing to go on the road to Green Bay next week. Hopefully the Niners can shaky the near-loss, but the Cardinals need not hang their heads too low after this season finale.