August 21, 2009
The last time both Super Bowl participants qualified for the playoffs the following season was in 2000 (the Rams and Titans). Since then, it has only been one or the other, with the losing Super Bowl team missing the postseason seven out of eight times (both teams have missed twice). So that fact might not bode well for the Arizona Cardinals…except that that one year where the Super Bowl winner missed the playoffs the champions were the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Perhaps it could also coincide with Ben Rothlesberger getting into trouble off the field after winning the big game. First there was his motorcycle accident, and now the assault charges. Maybe the guy just can't handle success.
I say it's the other way around this time. Going into the playoffs last year, absolutely no one would have picked the Arizona Cardinals to even get out of the first round let alone win the conference. After all, it seemed like they got blown out in any game that wasn't against a team in their horrendous division. They went 6-0 against those teams, and 3-7 against the rest of the league.
The Cardinals shocked their way to a George Halas trophy, but their defense is still suspect. And although you still have one of the most potent offenses in the league, they still just mustered nine wins with that. Add to the fact that San Francisco is getting better and Seattle is looking to be healthy, and the Cards could continue the runner-up trend.
Of course, both teams could still make the playoffs, although history is against them. Even the invincible New England Patriots, following a 16-0 regular season, succumbed to the curse.
It's also possible neither of these teams could go back to the playoffs. One thing's almost certain though...and that is that neither of them will go back to the Super Bowl.
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