The facts: The 49ers suffered their seventh defeat in nine games this season, falling 29-24 to the Cardinals.
The upside: Even the worst defeats tend to feature a bright spot or two ...
The reconfigured offense moved the ball effectively on the ground. Frank Gore rushed for 99 yards as the offensive line opened holes, particularly in the first half.
Interim coach Mike Singletary showed much more restraint in his postgame comments and overall emotional state. He sounded more like a head coach.
Vernon Davis' acrobatic touchdown catch over Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson showed how effective the third-year tight end can be. The penalty after the play was ill-advised, but at least Davis had a legitimate reason to celebrate. That's a start.
Defensive end/outside linebacker Justin Smith was again a problem for the Cardinals. Arizona even designed quarterback rollouts to the other side.
Rookie Chilo Rachal made his regular-season debut at guard a success. His block helped spring Gore for a 20-yard run.
The schedule might present another silver lining for the 49ers. The Rams visit Candlestick Park in Week 11.