Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 1/14/12

As the saying goes, 'lightning doesn't strike twice in the same place.'

If that was referring to the recent history of teams repeating as Super Bowl Champions, the statement could not be more accurate. In fact, in the last five years, no team has even made a return trip to the Super Bowl, as the defending NFL Champs are 0-5 when it comes to repeating as Super Bowl Champs.



 The New Orleans Saints, the last team to have the opportunity to repeat as NFL Champions, didn't even make it out of the Wild Card game last postseason. Even worse was the performance of the 2008 defending Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers, who wouldn't even make posteason play in 2009.

So it would appear that when it comes to repeating as Super Bowl Champions, history is not on the side of the Green Bay Packers. Why is it almost impossible to repeat as Super Bowl Champions? A few reasons stand out, among others:

1. When you're the defending champs, there is a big bullseye on your back: For most players in the league, it doesn't get any better than winning an NFL title. Yet knocking off the defending champ has to come in a close second. As the old adage goes, 'in order to be the champ, you have to beat the champ.' So every team that plays the Packers has that extra incentive to win knowing that, if they do, they will be one step closer to Super Bowl XLVI.

2. It is almost impossible to recreate the same magic that earned you the last title: Whether it be a change in personnel, play calling, injuries, or whatever, no two seasons play out the same. For a team like the Packers, who actually improved upon their 2010 regular season in 2011(going from 10-6 to 15-1) that means they enter postseason play as the home favorite as opposed to having to go on the road to win the title. And while the Saints won Super Bowl XLIV after enjoying home-field advantage in the NFC Playoffs, not since the New England Patriots did so in 2003 has the team with the best regular season record in the league won the Super Bowl.

3. A new postseason brings about new challengers, which leads to new challenges: Part of the reason it is so hard to repeat as Super Bowl Champions is that no two posteasons have the exact same participants. So what does that mean for the defending champs? For starters, it means that they have to adjust for new gameplans.

4. Last, but not least, is that the defending champs need a bit of luck on their side: This is probably the one factor that most fans and pundits alike often ignore: it is not enough for the Packers to be good in the 2011-2012 postseason, but they must also be the beneficiary of a few lucky breaks. Whether that be an instant replay that goes their way, a penalty that wasn't called, or just a lucky bounce of the ball, it doesn't matter. What does matter is that good fortune aligns with them, otherwise they will be just another casualty in a long list of defending Super Bowl Champs who failed to repeat.





 

 

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