Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith notices that teams play them differently because they are the Super Bowl champions. (Kevin Richardson/Baltimore Sun video)

The defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens face an uphill struggle to repeat last year’s success if recent history is any indication.

The last team to win back-to-back Super Bowl titles was the New England Patriots in 2003 and 2004, and it’s been eight years since a reigning champion won a playoff game the next season.

The Green Bay Packers, who play at Baltimore on Sunday, know a little something about the challenges that follow a championship.

The Packers won the Super Bowl three years ago and the next season lost in their playoff-opening divisional game against the New York Giants.

“I would say 2011 was much more difficult than 2010,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “I know we won a lot of games (15-1 during the regular season), I just felt it was a tougher ride than 2010.”

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