San Francisco 14, Arizona 23: Five Things We Learned

The 49ers once again failed to match their first-half intensity, collapsing in the second half en route to a 23-14 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

Here are five things we learned from Arizona's comeback win:

5. The 49ers Need To Learn How To Win In Spite Of The Whistles

Great teams win in spite of bad officiating. For two straight weeks, the 49ers can have legitimate gripes with the referees...but that just isn't a good enough excuse to justify giving away a game. Once again, the 49ers let the whistles get to them, disrupting their momentum and hurting their confidence, and once again it contributed to a loss.

4. Take The Cardinals Lightly At Your Own Risk 

The Cards now have victories against the 49ers and an impressive Chargers team, and their schedule looks very manageable despite their loaded division. At 3-0 headed into their bye week, the Cardinals have to feel great about their chances of crashing the postseason party.

3. There's More To Arizona Than Larry Fitzgerald

Arizona's star receiver didn't get his first catch until late in the second half, and he ended the day with just three catches for 34 yards. It didn't matter, though, as big second-half performances from QB Drew Stanton (18/33 for 244 yards, 2 TDs and no INTs) and WR Michael Floyd (5 catches, 114 yards) carried Arizona to a comeback win.

2. Something's Up With San Francisco's Backfield

When the 49ers have run the ball recently, they've done fine for themselves, but they've abandoned the run almost completely in two consecutive second halves. While playing from behind always means more of an emphasis on passing, it doesn't make sense to completely give up on running the ball, especially given that Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde have both looked solid. Is something going on behind the scenes?

1. The 49ers Can't Stop Shooting Themselves In The Foot

The Niners solved their turnover problem, but nine penalties for 107 yards showed they still have a long way to go mentally. Yes, some of those whistles were questionable (two consecutive roughing the passer calls that set up Arizona's go-ahead TD were particularly egregious), but the unforced errors and mental mistakes were plentiful. If the Niners want to rebound from this 1-2 start, it'll start with a tough look in the mirror.

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