Wayne Root: Should Steelers Worry About Super Bowl Letdown
A SHOCK TO THE SYSTEM
By the KING of Las Vegas WAYNE ALLYN ROOT
Should Steelers Worry About Super Bowl Letdown?
Last week I talked about the Green Bay Packer's possible immunity to a Super Bowl letdown. The factors that are often in play for the defending champs may not come into play for the Pack. They're not getting overhyped this year. They already suffered through their bad injury luck. We're seeing fewer distractions around the franchise than you often get with a champion.
What about the Super Bowl runner up? As the Pittsburgh Steelers prepare to take the field Thursday Night against the Philadelphia Eagles in a state rivalry game on FOX, I thought it would be a good idea to go back and study what's been happening recently to other Super Bowl losers. Many pundits are picking Pittsburgh to get back to the big game this year. Some think Steelers/Eagles is a Super Bowl preview.
Here's a quick review of what's happened to the prior five Super Bowl losers.
2005 SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
No return trips, even with the perk of playing in a very weak division. Seattle is 35-45 straight up in the regular season since their trip. They've changed coaches. That's such a long time in "NFL Years" that there's no point in even thinking about this as a Super Bowl type team. I wouldn't call it a five-year Super Bowl letdown. But, reaching the Super Bowl was far from a guarantee that the good times were going to continue.
2006 CHICAGO BEARS
Here's another NFC team that broke through once and hasn't been back. You'll shortly see that's a regular theme. The Bears are 34-30 since the big game in regular season action. Their best season was last year when they went 11-5 before ultimately losing in the NFC Championship game to Green Bay. Pittsburgh fans are going to be furious of the Steelers are about to drop back to just be another run-of-the-mill team like Seattle or Chicago.
2007 NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
The Pats were stunned by the Giants in the Super Bowl. That obviously didn't derail their greatness because the team is 35-13 since even though Tom Brady missed several games with a serious injury. But, you know what? They haven't been back to the Super Bowl since the loss to the Giants! In fact, they haven't even won a playoff game. New England has dropped its last two playoff openers as home favorites to Baltimore and the NY Jets. That's a more legitimate concern for Pittsburgh. Are they going to be good, but not good enough?
2008 ARIZONA CARDINALS
Back to the mediocrity of the NFC. Arizona did make the playoffs the next year, but is 15-17 in the two regular seasons overall. And, they're not rebuilding under a brand new quarterback who's only been there a few weeks.
2010 INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
The Colts went 10-6 last year, but showed signs that the dynasty may be about to get too old to thrive. The Colts lost their playoff opener at home to the Jets last season....joining New England on the short list of AFC teams who became vulnerable in the postseason after falling in the Super Bowl.
That brings us up to this season and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Had you realized that Super Bowl runner-ups had posted such disappointing results in recent years? The NFC teams were one-year wonders. But, true AFC powers New England and Indianapolis seemed to lack big game confidence once it was time to perform again in the postseason. Maybe the impact of Pittsburgh's loss last February's loss to Green Bay won't really be felt until the 2011 postseason. It's something handicappers should at least be thinking about now as they prepare for the coming campaign.
I'm preparing for the coming campaign by picking winners in the Preseason! I'm off to a 3-2 start for 60% winners already. My top play was Cleveland over Green Bay last Saturday Night. It looks like I'll have at least one play this weekend that's even stronger! You can go day-by-day with me here at the website. Or, sign up for the rest of preseason with your credit card for a very affordable price. If you have any questions, or want to work out football/baseball combination packages, call my office at 1-877-766-8946.
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