With Thursday's NFL regular season opener looming between the defending Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers and the New Orleans Saints, one of the most drama-filled off-seasons finally comes to an end. As every title-defending franchise has experienced, the Packers begin the 2011 season with a bullseye on their back. Gunning for them will be fellow NFC North contenders Chicago and Minnesota, as well as the likes of Philly, Atlanta, Dallas, and their opening night opponent, the Saints.
Of the past ten Super Bowl winners, only one managed to repeat (Patriots XXXVIII and XXXIX). Four teams failed to qualify for the playoffs the following season, and only the Giants managed to win the Super Bowl after previously losing one this decade.
However, there is one interesting fact about defending champions heading into the start of the regular season (gamblers, take notice). In their first game of the next season, title-defending teams sport a record of 10-0-0. Especially as of late, games have been close scoring-wise, but the 2008 Steelers' week one 13-10 victory over Tennessee in overtime is the closest a team has come to losing. In this slideshow, we will look at the outcome of each defending-champions first post-Super Bowl game, as well as a summary of their season.