Since the NFL began its current format for the Kickoff Opener -- with the winners of the previous Super Bowl playing host to the first game of the season -- defending champions are 8-2 in those games.
After that, though, all bets are off.
With some exceptions, there’s a general pattern of those Super Bowl winners dropping off the ledge in their opener, something that likely has caught the attention of Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll, whose team plays host to Green Bay in Thursday night’s season-debut game.
The 2005 New England Patriots beat Oakland in their debut, then lost four of their next seven.
The 2006 Pittsburgh Steelers beat Miami, then lost three in a row.
The 2009 Steelers beat Tennessee in overtime, then lost their next two.
The 2010 New Orleans Saints beat Minnesota, then went 3-3 in their next six games.
Notable exceptions were the 2007 Indianapolis Colts, who won their first seven games, and the 2011 Packers, who didn’t lose until Week 15.
The last two Super Bowl winners failed to win their opener, with the New York Giants losing at home to Dallas, and Baltimore getting trounced by the Broncos last year, 49-27, in a game that was held in Denver because of a Ravens scheduling clash with the Baltimore Orioles.
NFL players and coaches famously don’t like to look ahead to the next game, but if the Seahawks are able to get past Green Bay, you can bet that Carroll is going to warn his players about the perilous pattern of Super Bowl teams exhaling and stumbling.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times