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Sunday, February 13, 2005 

Repeat After Me

History says the New England Patriots will not reach the Super Bowl next year. The Patriots became the eighth team to repeat as Super Bowl champions, and none of the previous seven returned to the big game the following season:

Team SBs Won Next Season Next SB
Green Bay 1 & 2 6-7-1 Missed Playoffs 31 (won)
Miami 7 & 8 11-3 Lost 28-26 at Oakland 1st round 17 (lost)
Pittsburgh 9 & 10 10-4 Lost 24-7 at Oakland AFC Champ. 13 (won)
Pittsburgh 13 & 14 9-7 Missed Playoffs 30 (lost)
San Francisco 23 & 24 14-2 Lost 15-13 vs. NYG NFC Champ. 29 (won)
Dallas 27 & 28 12-4 Lost 38-28 at SF NFC Champ. 30 (won)
Denver 32 & 33 Missed Playoffs None
New England 38 & 39 ???

Green Bay slid out of the playoffs when Phil Bengston took over for Vince Lombardi, and Denver lost John Elway to retirement. But of the four teams that returned to the playoffs, three reached their conference championship game. The Patriots will have to overcome the loss of both coordinators, but if they can stay healthy, they might just have another run in them next year. I was struck by how many players said they were exhausted after winning it this year. Maybe the extra playoff games (and the pressure) wears down even the great teams.

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