The Arizona Cardinals are working toward another postseason berth, and standout defensive back Tyrann Mathieu knows the team must shake the Seattle Seahawks.
“Those guys are kind of in our way,” Mathieu said, per Bob Baum of the Associated Press. “We want to go somewhere, and we have to go through those guys.”
It’s safe to say the Seahawks are a potential road block, but the Cardinals can essentially dismiss the NFC West rivals from contention for the division title. Seattle sits at 4-4, while Arizona is 6-2.
Should the Cardinals win, a three-game lead would just about wrap up the division crown even though they have clashes remaining against the Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers and Seahawks again.
On the other hand, Seattle can shake up the standings because it has a more favorable schedule. The Seahawks already played the Bengals and Packers, and a pair of wins over Arizona would give Russell Wilson and Co. a valuable tiebreaker.
But Mathieu, despite the subtle humor of his modifier, is correct: Seattle is only “kind of” in the way.
Barring craziness, the Cardinals are headed to the playoffs. Whether that means they’re the NFC West champion or a Wild Card team doesn’t really matter. If Arizona faces the Seahawks during the postseason, they’ll be directly in the way.
Otherwise, Seattle is merely an obstacle—just like the Cardinals are to the Seahawks.