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FanPulse Week 7: Colts fans remain confident; Which early candidate will take home Coach of the Year?

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.

The Indianapolis Colts are coming out of their bye week in an interesting position between a huge road win in Arrowhead, and a very important AFC South matchup with the Houston Texans in their own house.

You can bet the crowd at Lucas Oil Stadium will be electric with the team coming back home at 3-2, and in position to take the lead within the division should they be able to protect their turf this Sunday. Houston is riding high as well, though, and are coming in averaging 27 points per game throughout the season, and over 30 points per game over the last four weeks.

The Colts to this point, have yet to break the 30-point mark this season, and their defense has been inconsistent at best. While they shocked everyone in the league in Week 5, Week 7 will be another difficult task to overcome.

With that, this week we’ll start with the team FanPulse question of how confident the Colts’ fan base is at this time.

Without a game to truly react to, and a week in which most players left town to visit family, somehow Colts’s fans lost a little bit of confidence in the team. Maybe it was the injury to Kemoko Turay. Or, maybe it’s the fact that Jacoby Brissett only threw for 151 passing yard and is averaging just over 212 yards per game.

Honestly, it’s really hard to tell why some fans would lose some confidence in the Colts given where the team stands right now. It wasn’t a steep decline or anything like that. In fact, given the often drastic peaks and valleys in between games at times this year, a drop from 95 percent to 91 percent is more realistically a push when it’s all said and done.

On the other hand, in spite of each team’s fan base being difficult to read from week to week, the Colts’ fans partaking in each week’s survey have been pretty level-headed in comparison to the Texans’ fans voting each week.

I mean the Texans lost in Week 4, and their fan’s confidence took a massive nosedive all the way down to 14 percent as a result. The Texans then smashed the Atlanta Falcons by three scores and their confidence only rebounded to 41 percent. This week the fans should be riding high after a big win over the Chiefs, but they’re only sitting at 67 percent confidence heading into Week 7.

What is wrong with these fans? If the Colts were 4-2, averaging over 30 points per game in the past month, and were getting the production from their defensive line that the Texans are right now, you wouldn’t be able to tell us anything.

Now let’s move on to the national question of the week.

Last week we looked at the early MVP candidates through the first five weeks of the season. Of course it’s likely that a handful of those candidates won’t even be in the race late in the season, the same is likely the true for the early Coach of the Year candidates.

It’s hard to tell which team will begin to really separate themselves from the pack, and which coach will leap ahead of the others, but for right now Kyle Shanahan (53.3%) is blowing away the others that find themselves in the conversation. Shanahan’s 49ers are currently undefeated, have yet to allow more than 20 points, and are putting up nearly 30 points of their own each week.

Bill Belichick is a distant second with his Patriots playing about as good defensively as they have in recent memory, while Sean Payton has been leading his Saints to a 4-0 record without his franchise quarterback Drew Brees over the past month.

Sean McDermott and Pat Shurmur received the honorable mentions out of these five candidates. McDermott of course for leading the Bills to a 4-1 record as they head into their bye week, and somehow Shurmur is getting some love for getting the Giants to 2-4 with rookie Daniel Jones under center.

There are still a handful of coaches who will be in the running for this with just a few more wins, and a few of these that could easily fall off with a couple more losses just the same.

I can think of one coach who has been forced to start his backup quarterback as his franchise guy since the previous franchise quarterback retired a week before the season kicked off. With a couple more wins against a hot division rival, gets hot during a brief stretch against average teams, and then possibly picks off a Sean Payton led Saints team later in the season as well.