Who will it be in Super Bowl XXXVIII?

If your team finished at or near the bottom of the barrel in 2002, don't feel too bad, because there's a good chance it could be contending for a Super Bowl next year at this time.

Updated: January 15, 2003, 3:03 PM ET
By by Walter Lis, STATS. Inc.
With only four teams remaining in the race for Super Bowl XXXVII, it's easy to see why fans of the Raiders, Titans, Eagles and Buccaneers are so excited. But if your team finished at or near the bottom of the barrel in 2002, don't feel too bad, because there's a good chance it could be contending for a Super Bowl championship next year at this time. With the current structure of the NFL, the line between the winners and losers has become even more fuzzy.

Stories of "rags to riches" were a popular refrain last season when the New England Patriots went from 5-11 in 2000 to the Super Bowl title. In fact, the last three Super Bowl winners were a combined 17-31 the season before they hoisted the Lombardi Trophy. And if the Titans (7-9 in 2001) go on to win it all this year, they would make the fourth consecutive league champion to have produced no better than a .500 mark the previous year.


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