History Is Against Another Patriots Super Bowl Run
Feb 4, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) walks off the field after Super Bowl LII against the Philadelphia Eagles at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The Philadelphia Eagles denied the New England Patriots a sixth Super Bowl ring. Nick Foles — 373 yards, three TD passes and another receiving score — toppled Tom Brady in a thrilling 41-33 victory. Brady and Bill Belichick came up short but there’s always next year, right? The Westgate lists New England as 4-1 favorites to win Super Bowl 53, but history is against another Patriots Super Bowl run.
The Super Bowl runner-up has performed well the next season with 33 teams winning 10 or more games and 70.6% of teams returning to the playoffs. Yet only seven teams that lost on Super Sunday made it back the next year.
The last team to lose the Super Bowl and return to the championship game was the Buffalo Bills in 1993. Only the Dallas Cowboys (Super Bowl 6) and Miami Dolphins (Super Bowl 7) avenged their title game losses from the previous season.
The Pats aren’t just any Super Bowl loser. Brady just won his third MVP and Belichick is the game’s best coach. Yet, at 40, Brady is entering uncharted territory for an NFL quarterback. Eventually the future Hall of Famer’s play will decline. Belichick could face his biggest challenge to date this offseason with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia set to leave Foxsborough. Oddsmakers, despite Brady’s advancing age and the changes to Belichick’s coaching staff, expect the duo back in the big game (2-1 to win AFC at Westgate).
Can the Eagles Repeat?
Defending champions have made it back to the postseason 35 times with just 16 teams missing the playoffs after winning it all. We’ve seen 13 teams return to the Super Bowl game after hoisting the Lombardi Trophy the previous season, and eight won back-to-back titles. The Patriots were the last team to accomplish the feat (Super Bowl 38 and 39).
The Westgate opened Philly as 5-1 favorites to win the NFC and 10-1 to add a second consecutive ring — the third-best odds behind the Patriots and Steelers (8-1).
The biggest question mark heading into the offseason for the Eagles is the health of franchise quarterback Carson Wentz. The second-year pro tore his ACL in Week 14. Will Wentz be ready for Week 1 and if he does play will he look like the MVP candidate we saw during the 2017 season?
The 2018 NFL regular season starts in 214 days. Come September we will find out if the Patriots can bounce back or if the Eagles will make it two in a row. Using history as a guide, odds are we will be talking about two different teams next February for Super Bowl 53.
Photo via Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports