Coming off their best season in more than 20 years, the Bears are 3-5 entering their bye week. Unfortunately, history is not on their side, either. The last team to lose the Super Bowl and return the next year was the Buffalo Bills, when they fell four straight times in the early 1990s. And the last team to win the Super Bowl after losing the year before? The 1972 Miami Dolphins. What’s more, in a league where parity reigns, six of the last ten Super Bowl losers didn’t even make the playoffs the next year. 

2005-06 Seattle Seahawks (lost 21-10 to Pittsburgh Steelers) 13-3 9-7 (lost in 2nd round of playoffs)
2004-05 Philadelphia Eagles (lost 24-21 to New England Patriots) 13-3 6-10 (missed playoffs)
2003-04 Carolina Panthers (lost 32-29 to New England Patriots) 11-5 7-9 (missed playoffs)
2002-03 Oakland Raiders (lost 48-21 to Tampa Bay Buccaneers) 11-5 4-12 (missed playoffs)
2001-02 St. Louis Rams (lost 20-17 to New England Patriots) 14-2 7-9 (missed playoffs)
2000-01 New York Giants (lost 34-7 to Baltimore Ravens) 12-4 7-9 (missed playoffs)
1999-2000 Tennessee Titans (lost 23-16 to St. Louis Rams) 13-3 13-3 (lost in 2nd round of playoffs)
1998-99 Atlanta Falcons (lost 34-19 to Denver Broncos) 14-2 5-11 (missed playoffs)
1997-98 Green Bay Packers (lost 31-24 to Denver Broncos) 13-3 11-5 (lost in 1st round of playoffs)
1996-97 New England Patriots (lost 35-21 to Green Bay Packers) 11-5 10-6 (lost in 2nd round of playoffs)

Illustration: John Kinzie