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Road to the Super Bowl: Divisional Round Predictions

Torrey Mitchell and Brian Flynn break down the NFL's divisional match ups

by Steven Nechay @CanadiensMTL /

The web is full of experts breaking down the NFL playoffs, but this is not your typical playoff preview.

Brian Flynn and Torrey Mitchell took a moment from their busy schedules to sit back and chat about their second favorite sport -- football -- ahead of this weekend's divisional championships.

MITCHELL: We only did fantasy football this year. We didn't do anything for the playoffs, unfortunately, but we've been following them. Let's start with Seattle at Atlanta.

FLYNN: I'm going with Atlanta by a touchdown, at home. Off a BYE, at home, indoors... I think they're indoors?

MITCHELL: Yeah, they play inside.

FLYNN: Yeah, Atlanta's too fast I think. They score like 30 points every game at home, so...

MITCHELL: Yeah, I'm going to go with Atlanta because Seattle's not that good on the road. They must be like .500 on the road over Russell [Wilson]'s career?

Did they only meet once this season?

FLYNN: Not sure, was it at home or on the road? They haven't won a playoff game since 2013, but they have a different coach this year. I think their head coach used to be Seattle's defensive coordinator.

MITCHELL: Matt Ryan had a big, big breakout year. I saw that in fantasy football. I don't know, it's so hard to tell, but I'll pick Atlanta.

FLYNN: Yeah, it's unanimous for Atlanta.


MITCHELL: Let's talk Houston-New England. He's a diehard Pats fan, but I'm not.

FLYNN: I actually met my wife at a Super Bowl party, when they lost to the Giants. When they were undefeated during the season and then lost to the Giants.

MITCHELL: Is that true? Wow.

FLYNN: Yeah.

MITCHELL: Well, Houston would love to play in a Super Bowl they're hosting.

FLYNN: I don't think that's going to happen, and I think we're in agreement. I think the Pats are going to win by three touchdowns. I think they're going to absolutely hammer the Texans. Off a BYE, at home, in Foxboro; they never lose.

MITCHELL: We had the Patriots defense in fantasy this year. Everybody talks about Tom Brady, but their defense is really good too -- and Houston has no quarterback.

FLYNN: Houston is the worst team left in the playoffs, for sure.

MITCHELL: I think so. They just got lucky because [Derek] Carr was hurt against them. Otherwise they would have lost in the first round, I would think. [Jadevon] Clowney's good though.

FLYNN: Yeah, but Tom [Brady] gets rid of the ball too quick. He gets rid of it faster than any other quarterback.

MITCHELL: Yeah, they could have [J.J.] Watt and it wouldn't make a difference. They're going to crush them, I think.

FLYNN: Their head coach, Bill O'Brien used to be an assistant with the Patriots. They met in the playoffs a few years ago I think. It was close at halftime, but then they blew doors off in the second half. I think it will be over early.

MITCHELL: I think we're unanimous again.

FLYNN: New England by three touchdowns.

MITCHELL: I'll say New England by 11.

FLYNN: Points or touchdowns?

MITCHELL: [Laughs] 31-20.


FLYNN: Pittsburgh at Kansas City next?

MITCHELL: Yeah, I think this is where we might disagree.

FLYNN: Yeah, this is a tough one. I'm going Pittsburgh.

MITCHELL: I'm going Kansas City.

FLYNN: I think it's probably going to be decided by a field goal. KC is really tough at home, especially off a BYE. It's tough to go in there and win -- I know that -- but Pittsburgh's just got too many weapons on offense and they make plays down the end. And I'm not betting against Le'Veon Bell at all.

MITCHELL: Yeah, I mean Pittsburgh's really good, but there's something about winning in Kansas City that sounds hard to me. And how about Ben [Roethlisberger] in that walking boot last week.

FLYNN: Yeah, but he's always in something like that. He doesn't really move anyways.

MITCHELL: He always seems to have nagging injuries, but he said he'll be playing.

FLYNN: And Pittsburgh's got the best offensive players -- Bell and [Antonio] Brown -- so I think maybe they make a play down the end to win it.

MITCHELL: I think both of them get shut down. It's my gut feeling.

FLYNN: Playoffs in KC will be tough though. They're not going to get blown out, I know that, but I think it's going to come down to a late Pittsburgh touchdown or field goal.

MITCHELL: But Kansas City can slow things down against you.

FLYNN: Yeah, but I'm going Pittsburgh by like three points.

MITCHELL: Alright, Kansas City by three points then.


FLYNN: So we saved the best for last? Green Bay at Dallas. I think we might disagree on this one, too.

MITCHELL: Possibly, but I'm definitely going with Dallas.

FLYNN: Oh, me too.

MITCHELL: I know Green Bay is hot, but Dallas at home is just unstoppable right now. Too much of a well-oiled machine, I think. Even with a rookie QB going against Aaron Rodgers.

FLYNN: Well he's not really going against Aaron Rodgers. He's going against the Green Bay defense, which is not really good. And the Cowboys have an awesome defense. Rodgers will have to score pretty much every time he touches the ball, I think. Which is possible, but unlikely. The Cowboys run the ball and kill a lot of the clock.

MITCHELL: I think the Cowboys crush them, by two touchdowns. They haven't gotten past this round since '95, but I think this is their year.

FLYNN: I think they win by a touchdown.

MITCHELL: I'd say New England's the favorite to win it all, but Dallas is coming out of the NFC for sure. That's my guess.

FLYNN: Well, that was easy. I could talk about football like this all day.

MITCHELL: Yeah. Maybe we just found our post-hockey careers.

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