The Philadelphia Eagles finally brought the Lombardi Trophy back to the City of Brotherly Love last season.
The 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots gave the Eagles their first Super Bowl in team history, eliminating them from the infamous list of teams that have never won the Big Game: the Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Chargers, Atlanta Falcons, Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans and Minnesota Vikings.
A Super Bowl win would seem to be a sign of future success, especially for a team with young talent like the Eagles.
In fact, the cumulative record of teams following a Super Bowl-winning season is 560-255-4. That roughly averages out to an 11-5 record which seems like a record surely to get a team into the postseason.
But making the playoffs, let alone getting back to the Super Bowl, in the next season isn’t a sure thing
Overall, 35 of the 51 (69%) Super Bowl winners have gone on to make the playoffs the following season.
If you look at the past 20 seasons, though, only 12 (60%) of those 20 teams have made the postseason following a Super Bowl victory. That trend continues with a smaller, and more recent, sample size. Six of the last 10 (60%) Super Bowl winners and three of the last five (60%) have made the playoffs the following season.
The four teams that did not qualify for the playoffs after winning the Super Bowl in the last 10 seasons were the 2009 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2012 New York Giants, 2013 Baltimore Ravens and 2016 Denver Broncos.
The ’09 Steelers played the majority of the season without star safety Troy Polamalu, who played only five games due to injury. Pittsburgh’s record dropped from 12-4 to 9-7. The Carson Palmer/Chad Ochocinco-led Bengals went 10-6 and won the AFC North. Another one of Pittsburgh’s AFC North rivals, Ray Lewis‘ Ravens, went 9-7 and stole a wildcard spot. Rex Ryan, Darrelle Revis, Thomas Jones and Mark Sanchez led the New York Jets to the playoffs as the other wildcard at 9-7. The Jets made it all the way to the AFC Championship.
The ’12 Giants’ 9-7 record actually stayed identical following their 2011 Super Bowl victory, but rookie quarterback sensation Robert Griffin III led the NFC East rival Washington Redskins to a 10-6 record and the division title. Adrian Peterson‘s Minnesota Vikings went 10-6 and the Seattle Seahawks’ Legion of Boom went 11-5 to each claim a NFC wildcard spot and prevent New York from a chance at a repeat.
The ’13 Ravens record fell to 8-8 after a 10-6 record in their Super Bowl-winning season. It was the first season in franchise history that Ray Lewis was not on the roster as he announced his retirement the previous year. The Bengals, led by Andy Dalton and A.J. Green, went 11-5 and won the division. Two AFC West teams claimed wildcard spots: the 11-5 Chiefs with Alex Smith, Jamaal Charles, Derrick Johnson, Eric Berry, Tamba Hali and Justin Houston and the 9-7 Philip Rivers-led Chargers.
The ’16 Broncos went 9-7 with Trevor Siemian at quarterback after a 12-4 record and Super Bowl-winning season behind a vaunted defense led by Von Miller the year before. Peyton Manning called the signals for that Super Bowl campaign and retired after. Miller, Chris Harris and Aqib Talib were unable to get Denver back into the postseason even with them all receiving All-Pro first team honors. Two teams finished ahead of the Broncos in the AFC West. The 12-4 Oakland Raiders won the division behind the play of Derek Carr, Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack. The 12-4 Chiefs claimed a wildcard spot behind the play of Travis Kelce, Marcus Peters, Eric Berry and Tyreek Hill. The 10-6 Miami Dolphins won the other AFC wildcard spot with Jay Ajayi, Jarvis Landry, Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake leading the way.
For defending Super Bowl champions that did make the playoffs, only 13 of the 35 (37%) have made it back to the Big Game.
But if they get back to the Super Bowl, there’s a good chance they will come out on top.
Eight of the 13 (62%) to make it back to the Super Bowl the following year have won back-to-back titles: the 1966-67 Green Bay Packers, 1972-73 Miami Dolphins, 1974-75 Steelers, 1978-79 Steelers, 1988-89 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-93 Dallas Cowboys, 1997-98 Denver Broncos and 2003-04 Patriots.
These eight teams all had one thing in common: Hall of Fame (and one future Hall of Fame) quarterbacks.
The 2018 Eagles hope their Super Bowl-defending season goes more like the eight teams that repeated as Super Bowl champions rather than the 16 that failed to qualify for the postseason.