TAMPA, Fla. — If Tom Brady’s social media dispatches are any indication, the partying has concluded and the plyometrics have commenced.
Which is to say, pre-production has begun on the sequel to the Bucs’ 2020 championship season.
Thing is, sequels rarely stand up to the original. In the Super Bowl era, only eight teams have repeated as world champions, and none since Brady’s Patriots squads of 2003 and 2004. Even teams that appeared destined for dynasty status have tripped during the journey, proving all planets — from good fortune to free agency — must meticulously align for a repeat to occur.
Listed below (in chronological order) are six teams that seemed poised to win back-to-back Super Bowls but fell shy.
After capturing a Lombardi Trophy in the strike-shortened 1982 season, Washington followed up with a 14-2 record. Behind a historic offensive line nicknamed the “Hogs,” Washington scored 541 regular-season points (then an NFL record), and posted a plus-43 turnover margin (still an NFL record). After demolishing the Rams, 51-7 in its playoff opener, it needed a Mark Moseley field goal with less than a minute to play (and some dubious San Francisco penalties in the waning moments) to eke past the 49ers, 24-21 in the NFC title game.
Favored to defeat the 12-4 Raiders in Super Bowl 18, Washington instead was run out of Tampa Stadium by Marcus Allen and Co. Allen ran for 191 yards and two touchdowns, and Washington committed three turnovers (including a pick-six) in a 38-9 Raiders romp.