Over the summer, Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu was asked which NFC team he thought the Cardinals had to beat to be “legitimate contenders” in the NFC.
He said the Seahawks, which wasn’t much of a surprise given their two-year reign as the NFC’s last team standing. The Seahawks are 4-4 heading into this weekend’s game against the Cardinals, but their up-and-down first half of the season hasn’t done anything to change Mathieu’s feeling about the conference.
“Those guys are kind of in our way,” Mathieu said, via the Associated Press. “We want to go somewhere, and we have to go through those guys.”
Mathieu believes that the Cardinals should be the more confident team based on their 6-2 record, although no one will be giving the Cardinals much of an edge in the NFC West if they can’t win in Seattle on Sunday night. That would leave them a game up on Seattle with the Rams, who beat the Cardinals already, potentially in the same position as Arizona embarks on a schedule that’s much tougher on paper than the one they faced in the first half.
They play the Bengals in Week 11 and then close with the Rams, Vikings, Eagles, Packers and a Seahawks rematch after a Week 12 date with the 49ers. With that slate, beating the Seahawks won’t guarantee the Cardinals anything but a loss will make it more difficult to buy into their chances of staying on top of the division all the way to the wire.