Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Does losing the Super Bowl doom a team to mediocrity the following season?

Actually, that has been the case recently. Only the 2006 Seattle Seahawks have manged to make the playoffs the year after losing the Super Bowl in the last 7 years. Going back 15 years shows that this wasn't always the case, however. The 2001 Giants started this trend and it has been building ever since. Examining Super Bowl winners and loser over the last 15 seasons shows that a team that loses the Super Bowl only makes the playoffs the following season 47% of the time. However the Super Bowl champion makes the playoffs 73% of the time.

Click image to enlarge statistics.

While even the Super Bowl champions suffer a little, they still make the playoffs almost 3/4 of the time. The losers suffer and struggle to make it even 50% of the time. The Super Bowl champion may see a W/L change of -2, where as the loser tends to lose an addition 4 games the next year. Ouch. What does that mean for 2008?

Well I don't see the Patriots missing the playoffs but it is entirely possible for them to finish 12-4 this season, despite having the easiest schedule in the league. Teams showed in the playoffs how to adjust to their form of offense. Their defense is merely average. New England will make the playoffs but they won't even come close to 16-0 again.

The Giants on the other hand will more than likely join the 2000 Broncos, 2003 Patriots, 2004 Buccaneers, and 2006 Steelers as defending Super Bowl champs not to male the playoffs in the last 15 years. The Giants were hot and lucky at the right time. The odds of that happening again are slim. The Super Bowl winner is the target of the rest of the league and numbers show that the winners tend to lose 2 more games the following season. This brings the Giants in at 8-8. They play in the ridiculously tough NFC East. I think 8-8 is spot on, give or take a win and definitely no playoffs.

1 comment:

E said...

maybe its just me but i hate the 'easiest schedule' line being dropped on the Pats. not to defend them or anything but that's based on record, and they went 6-0 against a division that they'll obviously play 6 times again this year. not only that, but the jets and dolphins can't be any worse than they were last year.