New England Patriots

Stop me if you’ve heard this before. A Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back guaranteed a win over the Patriots. Safety Mike Mitchell is the latest to make a bold statement about the Pats – and he didn’t even wait until they’re actually playing each other.

Mitchell made his controversial comments in a story by Greg Bishop of Sports Illustrated, which centers on how the Steelers are rallying around injured linebacker Ryan Shazier. Plenty of good news has come out recently about the linebacker’s recovery from a scary spinal injury, and the team certainly has good reason to be motivated to win for him. In terms of Shazier’s story, the article is worth a read.

But in New England, Mitchell inadvertently took the focus off his teammate and put it squarely on him. Because he essentially guaranteed a win over the Patriots – even though the Steelers still have to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars to get to Foxboro.

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

Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots is hit by Mike Mitchell of the Pittsburgh Steelers after making a catch at Heinz Field on Dec. 17, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots is hit by Mike Mitchell of the Pittsburgh Steelers after making a catch at Heinz Field on Dec. 17, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

What is Mike Mitchell thinking?

Poor Jacksonville. Much like the Titans’ Kevin Byard’s dig at Blake Bortles, you could interpret Mitchell’s comment as more of a shot at the Jaguars than bulletin board material for the Patriots.

But either way, these remarks couldn’t be more idiotic. Mitchell shouldn’t look past the Jaguars. Especially after the Jags absolutely waxed the Steelers, at Heinz Field, to the tune of 30-9 back in Week 5. The Jags mainly won on defense with two pick-sixes, so maybe Mitchell doesn’t quite remember how poorly the Steelers played that game.

“But what do you want him to say!?” How about keeping the Patriots out of his mouth until they actually get to Foxboro? Since the comments came in a story about Shazier, it’s clear that Mitchell got emotional and got rolling and probably regrets bringing up the Patriots before the Steelers even have to face them.

RELATED: Titans’ Kevin Byard Aims To Make Tom Brady ‘Look Like Blake Bortles’

It’s unclear when exactly Mitchell said these things. It could’ve been earlier in the season. But that would only make it worse. It sounds like the perfect Steelers thing to do to overlook the Jaguars with an eye toward a rematch with the Patriots.

Now What?

Maybe the Steelers will come to Foxboro and win. If the game happens, they should at least get a smidgen of a chance. But players shouldn’t be discussing that game until it’s actually a thing.

Mitchell and the Steelers have to beat the Jags first – which is also something they haven’t done yet this season.

— By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.