If you haven’t heard, the Cardinals have a 6-4 record, which puts them in a tie with the 49ers for second place in the NFC West.
As Arizona enters the stretch run to the postseason, one of the veteran defensive leaders has adopted a playoffs or bust mindset.
“We don’t have a choice but to make the playoffs this year,” Dockett told Erik Kuselias on Friday’s edition of Pro Football Talk on NBCSN. “There’s no option for us. We’re a veteran team we know we can do some things on offense, we know we can do some things on defense. The biggest thing is that when you get to your 10th or 11th game of the season, it’s about not beating yourself at this point. Everybody’s going to be equal in talent level, in schemes, matchup problems here and there but the main thing is not beating yourself. You can’t beat yourself, that’s the biggest thing. You work hard and you’ll have that chance and it’s in your favor when you don’t do those things.”
Aside from not seeing the Cardinals beat themselves, Dockett would like to beat the 49ers.
“Last year they won the division and everyone wants to beat them because they got to the playoffs last year,” Dockett said. “They went to the Super Bowl, had a hell of a game in the Super Bowl but fell short. Right now, everybody is coming at the throne, it’s part of being at the top. Right now, you only get respect when you beat the best and no matter what Seattle is doing, San Fran is the best team in the division. They won the division last year and unless that changes, you’ve got to go for the top.”
Either way, Dockett just wants to get to the postseason.
“You look at anything less than the playoffs when you’re playing football, you’re playing for nothing,” Dockett said. “I’ve been very fortunate to get to the Super Bowl, to play on playoff teams but when you get that feeling, you’re playing for that trophy that’s the only thing that matters. Anything less is a disappointing season. I don’t care what team you’re on. You want to win the division first, get into the playoffs and when you get into the playoffs, anything happens. If you don’t get into the playoffs, it’s a very unsuccessful season. That’s the way the standards should be for every team in the NFL.”
The problem for 20 of the NFL’s teams every year is that the table seats only 12. The way the Cardinals have been playing this year, they could be stealing one of the chairs — possibly the one previously reserved for the 49ers.