Why Do Teams Struggle After Winning The Super Bowl

Chris Schisler

The Seattle Seahawks have some daunting odds to repeat according to recent history. The past 5 Super Bowl champions failed to win a playoff game the in the following season. The National Football League has not seen a repeat since the Patriots won Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX. Winning a championship in the NFL is hard, winning back to back Super Bowls is almost impossible. Why do Super Bowl champions seem to struggle so much a year later? Here are 3 possible reasons for this phenomenon:

1.) Can’t Keep The Band Together

Winning the big game comes with big pay days. Chances are a Super Bowl winning team will lose a few key pieces. Look at the Ravens. As free agency began after their second Super Bowl victory they lost players seemingly by the second. Ozzie Newsome made it quite clear the Ravens were in it for the long haul. The intent was to not mortgage a bright future for one more crack at glory. Much of the Super Bowl victory is to do with a team finding a perfect chemistry. When you lose key players like Baltimore did to retirement and free agency, its hard to find that magic again.

2.) The Best Team Is Not Always The Super Bowl Winner

In both of the Giants Super Bowl wins against the Patriots, New York was probably the lesser team. Both Super Bowl XLII and XLVI were a result of a magical run after just making the playoffs. They matched up well against the Patriots and stepped up to the moment. In 2007 the Patriots entered the Super Bowl undefeated; their offensive firepower was historic. The point of this story is the best team does not always win the Super Bowl. Sometimes magical Super Bowl runs happen when a team overachieves. If a team over achieved to win it all the following year they are more likely to regress from the Super Bowl caliber standard they have set.

3.) Momentum Can Work Against You

The Green Bay Packers won Super Bowl XLV in convincing fashion against the Pittsburgh Steelers. They looked poised to repeat as they went 15-1 in the regular season following their championship. The Packers seemed nearly immortal, Aaron Rodgers was unstoppable. This is what many believed and it’s hard to think the Pack didn’t believe it as well. They had been challenged very few times in the 2011 regular season. The Giants however whooped them in the 2011 divisional playoff game. Winning covers up faults a team has. Eventually faults will be exposed.

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