Saints vs Packers: Will Green Bay Experience Super Bowl Hangover?

Cian Fahey@CianafFeatured ColumnistSeptember 8, 2011

ARLINGTON, TX - FEBRUARY 06: Cullen Jenkins #77 and Mason Crosby #2 of the Green Bay Packers run onto the field prior to Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium on February 6, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The dreaded Super Bowl hangover hangs over the heads of the Green Bay Packers this year as they open up the season tonight against the New Orleans Saints.

While many teams have struggled to rebound from winning it all in February, no team has struggled to win it's first game since it became the curtain-raiser.

Since 2004, every single Super Bowl champion has won their opening game of the season. However, not every team has even made the playoffs after that, in fact it's not that uncommon for teams to totally fall apart after their Super Bowl seasons.

Interestingly, you also have to go back to 2004 to find the last team that managed to win the Super Bowl back-to-back or even to appear in two consecutive championship games.

Not since the New England Patriots managed to win three Super Bowls in four years has any team made a similar stamp on the trophy. The Pittsburgh Steelers have won two Super Bowls this decade and been to three, but faltered mightily after winning their first two by not even making the playoffs the following seasons.

A lot of distractions and question marks fall upon a team that wins the Super Bowl as their motivation and focus comes under more stress than any other team in the league.

The Packers have already shown signs of these issues as the team had no organized practices with it's players during the lockout while the trip to the White House came a day before a preseason game. These appear to be minor things and most people will balk at the idea of them affecting the team's season, but if you aren't 100 percent focused in the NFL you won't have huge success.

Coming off a Super Bowl victory you have to be even more determined than you were entering the previous season because every team is gunning for you each week of the season. You are seen as a scalp worthy of being boasted about because you know that most eyes in the media and nationwide will gravitate towards the reigning champions.

One thing in the Packers favor is that the turnover to their roster has been minimal compared to recent Super Bowl winners. In fact based on sheer talent they are better than the team that won the Super Bowl last year.

Previously unproven players like Des Bishop and Sam Shields are now veterans while Jermichael Finley and Ryan Grant will provide a major boost to the offense giving it even more firepower.

The Packers haven't really lost anyone from their Super Bowl roster last year. Cullen Jenkins could be big but in reality the team could never rely on him to be fully healthy anyway so he was a nice addition but not a piece that they needed.

Of course, you can analyze and analyze to your hearts content, but at the end of the day we will only truly understand the Packers of this season once they step onto the field.

Thankfully, the first opportunity to do that comes tonight.