Mike Mitchell was on the field when his Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the New England Patriots at home in Week 15. The Steelers’ safety saw what the defending champions are capable of firsthand, and after winning that game, the rematch won’t take place in the same building. Now, the Steelers will have to travel to Foxboro to take on the Patriots again if both teams win their Divisional Round games this weekend.

But Mitchell isn’t worried about the location of that game. He saw what he needed to see from the Patriots in their first matchup, and in an interview with Greg Bishop of Sports Illustrated, he was extremely candid about his team’s chances.

“We’re going to play [the Patriots] again,” Mitchell promises. “We can play them in hell, we can play them in Haiti, we can play them in New England. . . .  We’re gonna win.”


Ben Roethlisberger has never led the Steelers to a win over the Patriots in Foxboro. The Steelers as an organization have not won a road game against the Patriots since 1997, when Kordell Stewart and Drew Bledsoe were at the helm. Mitchell might be onto something by saying the Steelers can play the Patriots in hell, since Foxboro essentially is their hell. That doesn’t mean the Steelers shouldn’t have room for optimism. They lost by only three points on a controversial call in the last matchup, and they did so without Antonio Brown, Joe Haden and Marcus Gilbert, who should all be back for the second game. Are three Pro Bowlers enough to swing the game even with the change of venue? It’s impossible to tell, but at least the Steelers seem to be confident.