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Road to the Super Bowl: Conference Championships

Torrey Mitchell and Brian Flynn break down the NFC and AFC Championship games

by Montreal Canadiens @CanadiensMTL /

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

Football fans Torrey Mitchell and Brian Flynn are also not your typical NFL experts. We asked the Habs forwards to call on their vast pigskin knowledge during the postseason to help set the table for Super Bowl LI.

After going 2-2 to Flynn's 3-1 record in the Divisional round, Mitchell first took a moment to reflect on what went wrong before predicting what would go right in the upcoming NFC and AFC Championship games.

TORREY MITCHELL: What did I get wrong last week?

BRIAN FLYNN: We both got Dallas wrong. You also picked Kansas City.

MITCHELL: Yeah, not a good pick. Although they kept it close.

FLYNN: Yeah, it was a two-point game.

MITCHELL: They got the two-point conversion, but there was a holding call. Then they went for the two-point conversion again and missed it. So, basically, it's a tie.

FLYNN: A tie?

MITCHELL: Yeah, I'm 2-1-1 from last week.


FLYNN: Let's start with Green Bay/Atlanta. We might differ here. I'm going Atlanta.

MITCHELL: Well, with the spread, which is I think -4.5 Atlanta, I'm definitely going with the Packers. Straight up, I'd say Atlanta in a shootout - a second half shootout.

FLYNN: 38-34

MITCHELL: I don't think you can bet against [Aaron] Rodgers right now. [Matt] Ryan is good, but Rodgers is just a freak right now. It's going to be quarterback against quarterback. Atlanta has the better D, though.

FLYNN: [shakes head]

MITCHELL: No? I was pretty impressed with Green Bay's defense last week, but I'd say Edge: Atlanta. Offensively, Green Bay has it. You're going to go Atlanta?

FLYNN: I'm going to go Atlanta by a touchdown or less. I think both teams score at least 30.

MITCHELL: Yeah, I'll go Atlanta 38-34.

FLYNN: That's what I said, 30 seconds ago! So you're just taking Green Bay to cover the spread.


FLYNN: (laughs) You just made this big deal about it.


FLYNN: I'm taking the Patriots by a touchdown. They'll cover the spread.

MITCHELL: I'm going to take the Steelers just to bet against you.

FLYNN: I'm picking them because I think they're going to win.

MITCHELL: No, it's because you're a super fan.

FLYNN: They don't lose at Foxborough in the playoffs.

MITCHELL: The spread is -5.5 Patriots. I'll take the Steelers, just because he's taking the Patriots.

FLYNN: That's not the point of this whole thing.

MITCHELL: Yeah it is - you went 3-1, I need to come back. You know what? I'll take the Packers and the Steelers.

FLYNN: (laughs) Oh, ok… I think everyone wants to see Patriots-Green Bay in the Super Bowl. It's the best two quarterbacks. I'm sure the NFL is hoping for that, too. I think they obviously wanted Dallas to make it but now that Dallas is out, that's probably the match-up they want. Does Atlanta have a big following?

MITCHELL: No. But most experts are picking them.

FLYNN: Including these experts. Except now you're taking Green Bay…

MITCHELL: I guess we won't see another Facebook Live. [Steelers WR Antonio Brown secretly livestreamed coach Mike Tomlin's postgame speech from the Pittsburgh locker room after their AFC Divisional round victory]

FLYNN: If you or I did that, we'd be on the waiver wire the next day. (laughs)

MITCHELL: The team said they were handling that internally.

FLYNN: They probably did nothing.

MITCHELL: The league might do something, but I doubt they would in the playoffs. That's not the play.

FLYNN: We'll see how it goes. Alright, so you've got Green Bay/ Pittsburgh, I've got Atlanta/Pats.  

MITCHELL: You have to go off the board if you want to make up ground!


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