Super Bowl Hangover?

There is an interesting theory going around about the “Super Bowl Hangover.” The idea is that the Colts will struggle because teams usually struggle the year after the Super Bowl. The problem is that this isn’t necessarily true. Check out the records of the last twenty champions for the year after their titles:

XXI – Giants 6-9 (strike year) (-8 games)
XXII – Redskins 6-10 (-5 games)
XXIII – 49ers 14-2 (+4 games)
XXIV – 49ers 14-2 (0)
XXV – Giants 8-8 (-5)
XXVI – Redskins 9-7 (-5)
XXVII – Cowboys 12-4 (-1)
XXVIII – Cowboys 12-4 (0)
XXIX – 49ers 11-5 (-2)
XXX – Cowboys 10-6 (-2)
XXXI – Packers 13-3 (0)
XXXII – Broncos 14-2 (+2)
XXXIII – Broncos 6-10 (-8)
XXXIV – Rams 10-6 (-3)
XXXV – Ravens 10-6 (-2)
XXXVI – Patriots 9-7 (-2)
XXXVII – Bucs 7-9 (-5)
XXXVIII – Patriots 14-2 (0)
XXXIX – Patriots 10-6 (-4)
XL – Steelers 8-8 (-3)

Average wins: 10+. Remember that several of these teams had QB issues in the next year. If you remove the second Broncos team (Elway retired) and 87 Giants (strike year where 4 games were played with replacements) the average jumps to nearly 11 wins. I debate whether to leave the Steelers in the mix, since their QB had a horrible accident in the offseason, but the real problem with the 06 Steelers was defense, so they stay in. During this stretch, there were four repeat champions. Eight of the 20 managed to win at least 11 games the year after a Super Bowl. Some teams do slide, but plenty of others don’t. While most teams did have some regression, the next year, 6 of the 20 did the same or better. All this being said, 11 wins seems to be reachable goal for this Colts team.

In other news, Vic Carucci of NFL.com is finally waking up to what the rest of us know: 18 is number one.

Demond Sanders’ Comments: It’s kind of cute how so many analysts, like Carucci, think that Brady can compete with Manning statistically this year. They forget that it usually takes a full season for a quarterback to get in sync with new receivers. They also forget that the Patriots were at their best with a very balanced attack (with an incredibly stingy defense to fall back on). I wouldn’t necessarily take it as a good sign for New England if the Pats suddenly start winging the ball over the field. Last November they tried to match Indy’s aerial attack and Brady threw four picks.

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