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FanPulse: How Colts, Redskins fans see Sunday’s game

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Indianapolis Colts v Los Angeles Ram Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Welcome to SB Nation FanPulse — a survey of fans across the NFL, powered by SurveyMonkey. Each week, we send 32 polls to 100+ plugged in fans from each team. Colts fans, sign up HERE to join FanPulse.

How confident are you in the direction of the team?

Last week: 93 percent confidence

There are a couple of possible explanations for the reduction in confidence.

First, the Colts lost to the Cincinnati Bengals at home in their season opener and displayed some of the more annoying attributes from the 2017 season. It is deflating for any fan base to watch their team look good in the first half only to see things fall apart in the second. It is also disappointing to see the offense, led by your returning franchise quarterback, sputter out by coughing up a game-sealing turnover just when they had you believing in a late game comeback.

Second, the poll last week and this week is different. Last week’s poll included varying degrees of confidence. This week’s poll forced those who might have been “somewhat confident” a week ago to make a choice and some of those people could have chosen “meh” over “confident” when their options changed.

Ultimately, despite a disappointing loss, there were some reasons to feel confident about the direction of the franchise. There is little doubt that this year’s offense will be superior to last year and there are some young defensive players who have quite a bit of potential, and some of them are starting to show it.

This is a good poll question to monitor throughout the year. I’m interested to see just how fickle fans are based upon short-term wins and losses.

Will the Colts win or lose in Week 2?

Odds: Redskins are 6-point favorites

Stampede Blue FanPulse: Colts by 2

Hogs Haven FanPulse: Redskins by 9

It should come as no surprise that each fan base is predicting a positive outcome for their respective team. What is particularly interesting is the variance in confidence level. The Redskins had a fantastic season opener a week ago and certainly deserve to feel confident about the future. Throw in that it is clear that their fans are likely not familiar with the Colts and have last season’s awful record as a back-drop and it can help explain why they feel so good coming into the game.

Colts fans, on the other hand, appear to accept the idea that their team isn’t a known quantity at this point. While I think most Colts fans wouldn’t necessarily see the Redskins as a juggernaut, they would recognize that winning on the road can be challenging and their team is young and could struggle to find consistency early in the season. I think Colts fans likely believe they are capable of winning most of their games this year and less confident that they will. I also suspect Anthony Castonzo’s outlook would also sway the results so the timing of the poll certainly will have an impact on the outcome.

Other than QB, what is most valuable to an NFL offense?

The results to this poll are a very strong indication that fans around the league place a great deal of value on protecting the quarterback. It is certainly true that left tackle is often the blind side protector for quarterbacks on passing downs and that they are more often lined up against a defense’s most talented pass rusher. It is also true that in the modern in NFL, more so than at any other time, passing game will often determine the outcome of games. It would be interesting to see how this breaks out against other position groups. Would any other position on the offensive line beat out skill positions? How would left tackle stack up against pass rusher?

What are your thoughts on these poll questions and their outcomes?