In this era of NFL parity, it’s rare to see the Super Bowl loser make it back the following year. Since 2000, it’s been rare to see Super Bowl losers make back-to-back appearances in the sport’s biggest game. Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman is tasked with putting his team in a position to get back after losing a heartbreaker in Super Bowl LVII last month. Like most front-office personnel, Roseman thinks his Eagles are in a good position to make another run to the Super Bowl, but it won’t be easy.
“Just because you say you’re going to get back, every team that loses in the Super Bowl says, ‘We’ll be back, we’ll be back,’” Roseman said “Well, we’ve got to make that happen. How do we make that happen? By continuing to do the right things, have the right process, and give our coaches the right kind of players.”
Only one Super Bowl-losing team has made it back the next year in the 21st century, and that’s the New England Patriots, who lost LII (52) and won LIII (53). They are also the only team to repeat as winners this century back in the 2000s. So, recent history isn’t on Roseman and the Eagles’ side.
Many of us thought the Cincinnati Bengals would do it this year and heading into the AFC title game against Kansas City, it felt like a lock. Cincy had owned KC for the past two years and had recently defeated the Chiefs in the regular season. But when all was said and done, the Bengals fell short, and it was the Chiefs returning to the Super Bowl and subsequently defeating the Eagles in a thriller.
The way the NFL is set up now, it’s generally tough to make it to consecutive Super Bowls. There’s so much turnover in the league because of free agency, a revolving door of coaches/assistants, and numerous other factors, but that’s what the league has strived for over the last two decades.
Two more playoff teams were added to the postseason for a reason. Anytime you hear the word more, it usually revolves around money in the world of sports. The NFL is no exception, and adding more teams, creating more parity over the years, increases the odds for each team/fan base year to year, which in turn means more money for the league.
This is what the league and its owners want. More teams have hope toward the end of the season, with seven playoff spots in each conference. When more teams have hope, fans have more interest, and they can now stretch the wild card round to add another Monday night game. More moola.
So, the Eagles returning next season isn’t a sure thing. Roseman knows that but will do his best to put them in a position to accomplish that feat. They’ll almost certainly face a tougher schedule next year, having finished first in the division and conference. Although no one outside Philly wants to see them happy, watching them try (and likely fail) will be fun.