On February 2, 2014 the world’s attention will be focused on MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., the site of Super Bowl XLVIII, and based on recent trends neither the Jets nor Giants will be playing.
It’s a well-known fact that no team has ever hosted a Super Bowl in their home stadium (Joe Montana’s San Francisco 49ers came close, playing Super Bowl XIX against Dan Marino’s Miami Dolphins at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, Calif.), but what has sailed under the radar is that recently Super Bowl host teams aren’t even making the playoffs anymore. The last dozen franchises to host the Super Bowl have failed to even qualify for the postseason, with the 2000 Tampa Bay Buccaneers the last to earn an invitation to the NFL’s postseason tournament. Making matters worse, eight of those 12 teams finished the regular season with a record below .500.
When the 2013 season began nobody believed that Rex Ryan’s Jets, led by rookie quarterback Geno Smith, stood any chance of achieving a winning record, let alone making it to the playoffs. Even after a surprising 2-1 start, Gang Green’s chances to make the playoffs in a very tough AFC are a slim at best.
And following last Sunday’s embarrassing 38-0 shellacking at the hands of the Carolina Panthers, the battle-tested Giants and their two-time Super Bowl Champion signal-caller, Eli Manning, also have an uphill battle to just reach .500. Given that they’re 0-3 —97% of the teams that start the year off by losing their first three games fail to make the playoffs—the host team drought is a near-lock to continue at least until 2015 when the Arizona Cardinals host Super Bowl XLIX.