Last week, the Seattle Seahawks became the first defending Super Bowl champion since 2005 to win a playoff game. Now, with a victory over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, they’ll be one win away from becoming the first team to repeat in exactly a decade.
Prior to that, there were four repeats in a 17-year span (San Francisco in 1988 and 1989, Dallas in 1992 and 1993, Denver in 1997 and 1998 and New England in 2003 and 2004). There were also three repeats in the 1970s (Miami in 1972 and 1973, Pittsburgh in 1974 and 1975 and the Steelers again in 1978 and 1979). Throw in the original repeat of the first two Super Bowls for Green Bay in 1966 and 1967 and we had eight successful title defenses during the first 39 years of the Super Bowl. That means it happened about twice per decade…and now it hasn’t happened once in a decade.
But now Seattle has a chance to prevent this from becoming the longest stretch in NFL history without a repeat champion. And we’re pre-dating the Super Bowl for that, with the reference going all the way back to when the Canton Bulldogs won back-to-back championships in 1922 and 1923.
There are obvious reasons for this. More teams, more parity, the salary cap era, free agency.
Could the Seahawks break the curse? Merely getting a win is a curse-breaker in itself. And now they’re undoubtedly the Super Bowl favorite again, what with Aaron Rodgers limping already and the Broncos eliminated and the Patriots dealing with a championship slump of their own.
And really, when you consider that Russell Wilson is the highest-rated playoff passer in NFL history and that this team is hotter and looks even tougher than it was last year, there’s little reason to believe they can’t use that experience and build off of it with yet another championship three weeks from now.