Despite a blowout loss to the Seahawks in the Super Bowl XLVIII, the Denver Broncos are getting a lot of love heading into this season.
According to VegasInsider.com, the Broncos are favorites at 6/1 odds to win Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1, 2015, in Arizona. The defending champion Seahawks follow closely at 13/2 odds.
History, however, disagrees with Vegas about the Broncos. Just seven teams have ever made it back to the Super Bowl after losing the big game the previous season. And of those seven teams, only two won in their return to the Super Bowl -- the 1971 Dallas Cowboys and the 1972 Miami Dolphins.
The losing team in the Super Bowl has not returned to the big game in the subsequent season in 20 years, since the Buffalo Bills capped their run of four consecutive appearances with Super Bowl XXVIII in January 1994.
Peyton Manning maintaining his elite, record-breaking play is key if Denver hopes to beat the odds and return to the Super Bowl for another chance to win a title.
Take a look at how the close -- or not close -- the past 20 losing Super Bowl teams came to returning to the championship game.
Lost Super Bowl XLVII to Ravens 34-31 on Feb. 3, 2013.
2013 regular season: 12-4, second in NFC West.
2013 playoffs: Defeated Packers 23-20 in the wild-card game. Defeated Panthers 23-10 in divisional round. Lost at Seattle 23-17 in NFC championship game.
Notable: 49ers reached the Seahawks' 18-yard line in final minute of NFC championship game, but Seattle held on with an interception in the end zone.
Lost Super Bowl XLVI to Giants 21-17 on Feb. 5, 2012.
2012 regular season: 12-4, first in AFC East.
2012 playoffs: Defeated Houston Texans 41-28 in divisional round. Lost at home to Ravens 28-13 in the AFC championship game.
Notable: Tom Brady passes for 320 yards but throws two interceptions in Ravens' territory.
Lost Super Bowl XLV to Packers 31-25 on Feb. 6 2011.
2011 regular season: 12-4, second in AFC North.
2011 playoffs: Lost to Broncos 29-23 in the wild-card game.
Notable: The playoff loss at Denver is also the peak of Tebowmania. The Broncos win on the first play of overtime as Tim Tebow connects with Demaryius Thomas on an 80-yard touchdown pass.
Lost Super Bowl XLIII to Steelers 27-23 on Feb. 1, 2009.
2009 regular season: 10-6, first in NFC West.
2009 playoffs: Defeated Green Bay Packers 51-45 in wild-card game. Lost at New Orleans 45-14 in divisional round.
Notable: The playoff loss to the Saints is the last game of Kurt Warner's career.
Lost Super Bowl XLII to the New York Giants 17-14 on Feb. 3, 2008.
2008 regular season: 11-5, second in AFC East.
2008 playoffs: Missed playoffs.
Notable: The Patriots lose QB Tom Brady for the season to an ACL tear sustained in the opening game when hit by Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard.
Lost Super Bowl XL to Steelers 21-10 on Feb. 5, 2006.
2006 regular season: 9-7, first in NFC West
2006 playoffs: Defeated Cowboys 21-20 in wild-card game. Lost at Chicago 27-24 in divisional round.
Notable: The playoff win against Dallas is perhaps best remembered for Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo's botching the hold on a short field goal attempt late in the fourth quarter.
Lost Super Bowl XXXIX to Patriots 24-21 on Feb. 6, 2005.
2005 regular season: 6-10, fourth in NFC East.
2005 playoffs: Missed playoffs.
Notable: Midway through the 2005 season, the Eagles suspend Terrell Owens for detrimental conduct, and he never plays for the team again.
Lost Super Bowl XXXVIII to Patriots 32-29 on Feb. 1, 2004.
2004 regular season: 7-9, third in NFC South.
2004 playoffs: Missed playoffs.
Notable: The Panthers compile a five-game winning streak at one point, but a 1-7 start is too much to overcome.
Lost Super Bowl XXXVII to Buccaneers 48-21 on Jan. 26, 2003.
2003 regular season: 4-12, third in AFC West.
2003 playoffs: Missed playoffs.
Notable: The Raiders' final home game of the 2003 season becomes a memorable NFL moment as Packers quarterback Brett Favre throws for 399 yards and four touchdowns on the night his father dies.
Lost Super Bowl XXXV to Ravens 34-7 on Jan. 28, 2001.
2001 regular season: 7-9, third in NFC East.
2001 playoffs: Missed playoffs.
Notable: The Giants play the last NFL game before the 9/11 attacks, returning from a Monday night game in Denver just hours earlier.
Lost Super Bowl XXXIV to Rams 23-16 on Jan. 30, 2000.
2000 regular season: 13-3, first in AFC Central.
2000 playoffs: Lost at home to Ravens 24-10 in divisional round
Notable: The Titans defense allows no touchdowns in their final three regular-season games, and in the playoff loss to Baltimore, it gives up just one as the Ravens score a TD on special teams and another on an interception return.
Lost Super Bowl XXXII to the Broncos 31-24 on Jan. 25 1998.
1998 regular season: 11-5, second in NFC Central.
1998 playoffs: Lost at San Francisco 30-27 in the wild-card game.
Notable: The playoff loss to the 49ers comes on what San Francisco fans call "The Catch II" as Terrell Owens grabs a 25-yard touchdown pass from Steve Young in the end zone on the final play of the game.
Lost Super Bowl XXXI to Packers 35-21 on Jan. 26, 1997.
1997 regular season: 10-6, first in AFC East.
1997 playoffs: Defeated Dolphins 17-3 in the wild-card game. Lost at Pittsburgh 7-6 in divisional round.
Notable: This was Pete Carroll's first season as Patriots coach, replacing Bill Parcells, who had gone to the Jets.
Lost Super Bowl XXX to Cowboys 27-17 on Jan. 28, 1996.
1996 regular season: 10-6, first in AFC Central.
1996 playoffs: Defeated Colts 42-14 in the wild-card game. Lost at New England 28-3 in divisional round.
Notable: This is Jerome Bettis' first season in Pittsburgh after being traded from the Rams, who consider the Bus to be expendable because they drafted Lawrence Phillips.
Lost Super Bowl XXIX to San Francisco 49ers 49-26 on Jan. 29, 1995.
1995 regular season: 9-7, second in AFC West.
1995 playoffs: Lost at home to Colts 35-20 in the wild-card game.
Notable: The playoff loss to the Colts features Indianapolis quarterback Jim Harbaugh throwing for two touchdowns and running for another.