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Carson Palmer: 'I feel like we've got to win every game' to reach playoff goal

The team really wants the top seed in the NFC.

Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals hit the stretch run of the season starting this week. They come off their bye and will hit the road to play the Seattle Seahawks. Over the final eight weeks of the season, seven of their games are against teams who are currently in the playoff mix. Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer believes there is little room for error.

Arizona has not been shy about talking about what they wish to accomplish this season. They want to make and win the Super Bowl and believe they have the talent to do it. But they almost have to be perfect.

"I really feel like we've got to win every game, as crazy as it sounds, to be a number one seed, to have home-field advantage," Palmer told me. "It's tough to beat us at our place."

Palmer knows the Panthers sit at the top of the conference unblemished at 8-0. He knows Green Bay and Atlanta are in the mix, but so are the Cardinals. "We're in the mix of having that  home-field advantage and we need to keep that," he said. "That would be huge for us if we could keep that."

Winning out would mean a 14-2 record. That would most certainly get them a top seed. It probably seems unreasonable with the schedule left, but it  might take that with the Panthers playing the way they have.

Internally, the goal seems to be 12 wins. That appears to be the number they believe it will take to win the NFC West. That means at least matching their 6-2 record to close the season.

Would 12 games get them a first round bye? It might not.

Palmer might just be right. If the goal is home-field advantage, going undefeated the rest of the way might be what they have to do.