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The Packers' Championship Window: History Says About Five Years

Congratulations to the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers. Celebrate now, and then get ready for next season. Tomorrow and next season is promised to no team, but history says you’ve got a decent chance of adding to it some time over the next five years.

I looked at all previous 44 Super Bowl winners, and how frequently they made the conference championship game, Super Bowl, or won it all in the fifteen years after a Super Bowl victory. Obviously, not every Super Bowl winner is fifteen years removed from a victory, so the total number of teams in each category decreases with the number of years. Here is a summary of the frequency with which the Super Bowl winners accomplish those milestones.

Yrs Post-SB SB W SB L CH GM Total Teams
1 8 3 6 44
2 2 1 7 43
3 6 2 5 42
4 6 2 4 41
5 4 1 4 40
6 2 1 2 39
7 2 1 2 38
8 1 0 4 37
9 1 1 5 36
10 1 2 3 35
11 0 1 3 34
12 0 1 2 33
13 1 0 2 32
14 1 1 2 31
15 0 0 1 30

This next table converts that to percentages, so we can compare to a randomly selected team. Here, I combine the numbers so we get Super Bowl Wins, Super Bowl Appearances, and Conference Championship Game Appearances. The number of competing teams has changed over time and adjusts the percentages slightly, but for comparison, a random team has about a 3.5% chance of winning the Super Bowl, 7% chance of appearing in a Super Bowl, and 14% chance of reaching a conference championship game in a given season over this period.

Yrs Post-SB SB W SB APP CH GM APP
1 18.2% 25.0% 38.6%
2 4.7% 7.0% 23.3%
3 14.3% 19.0% 31.0%
4 14.6% 19.5% 29.3%
5 10.0% 12.5% 22.5%
6 5.1% 7.7% 12.8%
7 5.3% 7.9% 13.2%
8 2.7% 2.7% 13.5%
9 2.8% 5.6% 19.4%
10 2.9% 8.6% 17.1%
11 0.0% 2.9% 11.8%
12 0.0% 3.0% 9.1%
13 3.1% 3.1% 9.4%
14 3.2% 6.5% 12.9%
15 0.0% 0.0% 3.3%

The fifth year after a Super Bowl win is the last time that the champions outperformed a randomly selected team in all three categories. It’s interesting that, even though the next year was the most common to see another championship, there was not much drop off in the first four seasons. In fact, because of the drop off in year two, there were as many Super Bowls won in years 3 & 4 combined as in years 1 & 2.

If we look at just teams that had a younger quarterback who was under the age of 28 at the time of his first Super Bowl win, 6 of those 10 teams won another Super Bowl within the next 3 seasons.

Aaron Rodgers will turn 28 next December. Some veteran pieces (Woodson, Driver, Clifton) won’t be around as starters too much longer. There is alot of talent on this team, though, that should be. This was probably not supposed to be their year with all of the injuries, but Ted Thompson has done such a good job of building depth and overturning the roster that the Packers should be in the hunt for the next several years. In addition to Rodgers, Clay Matthews, B.J. Raji, Tramon Williams, Josh Sitton, Greg Jennings, and Jermichael Finley are young players that are already amongst the best at their positions. Guys like Bryan Bulaga and Jordy Nelson have been drafted to build that depth, and will step into larger roles.

If you gave me a 50/50 proposition, I would lean toward more likely than not that the Packers win another title sometime in the next five years. If we assume that they have a 12% chance of winning each year (roughly in line with historical Super Bowl winners in next five), they would win at least one title in the next five seasons to come 48% of the time. I’m willing to bump their chances up though, based on having the quarterback, depth, and young stars in place.

[photo via Getty]

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