Welcome to SB Nation FanPulse, a survey of fans across the NFL powered by SurveyMonkey. As the season kicks off in just a few weeks, each week, we’ll send 32 polls to 100+ plugged in fans from each team. Colts fans, sign up HERE to join FanPulse.
Indianapolis Colts fans may feel a little less anxiety this week given the team’s Week 6 bye with the rest of the AFC South is in action and coming off very interesting performances from Week 5.
The Colts fan base was at an all-time low previous to their Week 5 game with the Kansas City Chiefs as a result of their loss to the Oakland Raiders. Looking back on those numbers, it seems reasonable to suggest that most fans considered the Raiders to be a joke — to still have been in the same place they were this offseason — due to the national narrative surrounding the team following some questionable decisions.
As it turns out, the Raiders may not be so bad after all. Additionally, following the Colts huge win at Arrowhead, Colts fans appear to have centered given all of the emotions between the past couple weeks.
Today we’ll revisit where the fan base is at as we do each week, but this week’s national question is up first.
It’s very early, but it’s never too early for hyperbole with the NFL and its fans. With only five weeks gone in the season, there are at least a few of these candidates who will legitimately hang around within the MVP race, but others will naturally play themselves out of contention being unable to match their output of the first-third of the season.
As it currently stands, we see a lot of deserving names on that board on both sides of the ball. However, as we often see, the offensive side of the ball almost always holds the MVP hardware at the end of the year in the NFL. And right now, Christian McCaffrey is getting the nod quite convincingly above the rest of the group.
McCaffrey’s play is worthy at this point, yet it’s still somewhat of a surprise that he’s blowing away other quarterbacks, just as it would be for a defensive player to have been leading the pack at this juncture in the year.
It makes one wonder, though, if McCaffrey cannot manage to continue his current level of play, that Russell Wilson and Patrick Mahomes become the clear favorites with a playoff berth and any post-season success.
And now let’s take a look at the Colts’ fan base heading into Week 6. As I mentioned, the team is enjoying their bye week this week, and they couldn’t need it more right now.
They are beat up, yet still riding high after their improbable defeat of the Kansas City Chiefs on their own turf. Even a ‘good’ showing on the road may have lured back some of their fans, but winning literally got them all back in line.
After having a massive drop in confidence, and their lowest number of the year by far, Colts’ fans confidence in their team rebounded all the way back up to 96 percent confidence level from their super ugly 52 percent they sported heading into their matchup with the Chiefs.
The Colts will host the Houston Texans in Week 7, and that will be pivotal in the team’s success going forward as well as the confidence the fans have in the team. The Texans are coming off of their big 53-32 win over the Falcons in Week 5, and now they head in to Arrowhead making their own bid to upset the Chiefs.
A very good showing, or outright victory, of their own will make for a very interesting showdown in Indianapolis in Week 7 featuring two teams — and two fan bases — who are feeling themselves quite a bit. The AFC South might actually get a lot more interesting very soon.
This week there’s an additional national question in the FanPulse survey asking whether most of you prefer daily, or season-long fantasy. This also feels like a surprise somewhat. The result isn’t all that shocking, but the overwhelming numbers themselves does a bit to me.
In spite of the success of daily fantasy and the intense marketing push they’ve put forward over the past few year, it looks like fans simply would rather make moves, take the chance on their ability to adjust their lineups, than partake in a daily shot at money with so many ‘sharps’ out there using their analytics to clean up on the audience.
It makes sense to me, however, it appeared that the daily crowd was a little deeper than they have turned out to be.
Around the AFC South:
Here is the rest of the numbers for the Colts’ divisional opponents at the moment.
The Jaguars suffered a minor drop in confidence level from their fans of 73 percent to 62 percent after their 27-34 loss to the Carolina Panthers in Week 5. This may end up being a two-week trend if they can’t overcome a New Orleans Saints squad that is winning despite having lost their franchise quarterback.
Following Week 4, fans of the Houston Texans were as confidant as they’ve been all season but dropped right back into the basement last week after their loss to the Panthers. After a huge 53-32 win over the Atlanta Falcons, they’ve seen their numbers rise from 14 percent all the way up to 41 percent. The Texans head into Arrowhead in Week 6. Their numbers will either climb to their new high for the season or drop some with a competitive loss.
Tennessee Titans’ fans were fairly confidant heading into Week 5 following a two-touchdown win over the Falcons, but took a massive drop after their loss to the Buffalo Bills last week from 52 percent, all the way down to 18 percent. They travel to the Denver Broncos this week and should rebound a bit, but they’re still the Titans where the only consistency is inconsistency.