When the Falcons square off against the Patriots in Week 7 of this season, they’ll be on the wrong side of history in more than one way. First, they haven’t won in New England since 1998, having dropped five games since then. Second of all, they just lost the Super Bowl, and teams that lose the Super Bowl tend to struggle a bit the next season. The Falcons, thankfully, are good enough to overcome history.
Still. Here’s a look at some recent Super Bowl rematches, and how they went for the team that lost the Super Bowl.
2016: Panthers 20, Broncos 21
The Panthers were not happy about having to play Denver on the road, and they wound up losing their second straight game to the Broncos. This one was good enough and tight enough to make you believe both these teams would continue to be strong contenders, but as it turns out, neither made the playoffs.
2014: Seahawks 26, Broncos 20
The Seahawks beat the crap out of Denver in the prior Super Bowl, and they ran out to be a big lead before giving up some ground. They still won easily, handing Denver their second straight loss against Seattle.
1997: Packers 28, Patriots 10
It’s tough to remember now, but at this point, the Patriots had been in exactly two Super Bowls and lost both of them. The Packers beat New England in the prior year’s Super Bowl, and they rubbed some salt in the wound here, easily handling the Drew Bledsoe-led Patriots.
1993: Bills 13, Cowboys 10
This is the one time in the last three decades where the team that lost the Super Bowl won in the regular season. The Bills were amazing during their four year run of lost Super Bowls, and this was only a small consolation, but hey.