The Baltimore Ravens haven’t had the best luck since winning the last Super Bowl. In fact, the Ravens won’t even get to host opening night against the Denver Broncos on Sept. 5, like a normal champion, since the Baltimore Orioles wouldn’t move a home game on the same night. However, that’s nothing compared to losing Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Anquan Bolden and Dennis Pitta in the offseason, due to retirement, free agency and injury.
All of these factors have combined to make the Ravens a bigger Super Bowl longshot than they were when they started their unlikely run last postseason. Yet this is almost par for the course for recent Super Bowl champions.
No team has won back-to-back titles in the NFL since the New England Patriots in 2003-04 and 2004-05. This has been because since then, only one team has even won one playoff game the year after their championship -- and that was the 2005-06 Patriots. Otherwise, defending champions have either been upset in the playoffs or missed them altogether.
Here is a list of the last eight defending Super Bowl champions and their failures, as the 2013 Ravens battle history and a hobbled roster to reverse the trend.