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Tyrann Mathieu: Seahawks still team to beat in NFC

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Pro Bowl defensive end Calais Campbell recently anointed Arizona a "true contender" now that Carson Palmer is recovered from ACL surgery.

Although defensive back Tyrann Mathieu echoes the sentiment that the Cardinals are "legitimate contenders," the Honey Badger concedes the Seahawks remain the NFC's end boss.

"I've never been a fan of disrespecting the people who have earned it, so for me it would have to be Seattle," Mathieu told The Rich Eisen Show on Wednesday. "Those guys went to the Super Bowl two times in a row and they have everything we want."

Mathieu added that the Cardinals "will definitely have to go through Seattle this year."

Who can argue with that perspective?

Arizona has managed to beat Seattle just twice in six games over the past three years. If anything, the Seahawks have improved this season with the addition of three-time Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham.

That's not to say the Cardinals won't be a threat to wrest the division title away if Pete Carroll's troops stumble.

With Palmer healthy, the offensive line solidified and young talents such as Mathieu and John Brown poised for breakout seasons, the NFC West will enter training camp with two of the three strongest rosters in the conference.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast features the triumphant return of Dan Hanzus and discusses the biggest mysteries heading into training camp.

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