Just nine months ago the Baltimore Ravens were celebrating a Super Bowl victory over the San Francisco 49ers. Today, they are trying to figure out how they are going to make the playoffs this year.
The Ravens yesterday dropped their fifth game of the 2013 season, 24-18, to the Cleveland Browns. The Ravens’ 3-5 record puts them two-and-a-half games behind the AFC North Division-leading Cincinnati Bengals. It also leaves them tied for the 11th best record in the AFC, certainly not good enough for one of the six playoff spots in the conference, and a long ways from climbing their way back into the playoff mix for this season.
In looking at the previous 46 Super Bowl champs, 19 of them finished the year following their Super Bowl win with six or more losses. Considering that the Ravens already have five losses with eight games to play, there’s a good chance that they will become the 20th team to join this group. And considering that six of their last eight games are against teams currently with winning records, the question becomes: Will the Ravens experience the worst collapse ever of a Super Bowl champ?
The 1998 Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl (played in 1999) and then went on to have a 6-10 record during the 1999 regular season. It was the worst “season-after Super Bowl championship” record in NFL history. Four teams lost nine games the year following their Super Bowl title.
Here’s a look at the Super Bowl champs that had the most losses the season following their Super Bowl title.
Losses the season after winning Super Bowl, Team, Super Bowl season
10: Denver (1998) Went 6-10 in 1999
9: New York Giants (1986) Went 6-9 in 1987
9: Oakland (1980) Went 7-9 in 1981
9: Tampa Bay (2002) Went 7-9 in 2003
9: Washington (1987) Went 7-9 in 1988
8: New York Giants (1990) Went 8-8 in 1991
8: Pittsburgh (2005) Went 8-8 in 2006
7: Green Bay (1967) Went 6-7-1 in 1968
7: New England (2001) Went 9-7 in 2002
7: New York Giants (2011) Went 9-7 in 2012
7: Pittsburgh (1979) Went 9-7 in 1980
7: Pittsburgh (2008) Went 9-7 in 2009
7: Washington (1991) Went 9-7 in 1992
Note: Seven teams finished under .500 the season after winning a Super Bowl. In addition to the six teams noted above who were under .500, the San Francisco 49ers won the Super Bowl after the 1981 season and then finished 3-6 in the strike-shortened 1982 season.
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