Silver linings: Cardinals at Saints

The facts: The Cardinals' season ended with a 45-14 road defeat to the Saints in the NFC divisional round.

The upside: Even the worst defeats tend to feature a bright spot or two.

  • The Cardinals gained 98 yards on their first two plays, including 70 on Tim Hightower's touchdown run to open the game.

  • Kurt Warner did not suffer a concussion when Saints defensive end Bobby McCray leveled him. A concussion would have sent Warner into the offseason with one more reason to consider retirement.

  • Rookie LaRod Stephens-Howling had success in the return game early.

  • Early Doucet caught eight passes, giving him 14 in two playoff games.

  • Rookie Beanie Wells scored a touchdown, his first in the playoffs.

Looking ahead: The Cardinals now await Warner's decision on retirement.