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 set to host the Miami Dolphins in their Week 10 matchup at Lucas Oil Stadium this Sunday. The Dolphins are an improving team in spite of the leadership of the organization doing all they can to ‘tank’ for the highest draft pick possible.
The Colts, on the other hand, have been struggling as of late. They’ve continued their one-score streak through eight games, but with the injury to Jacoby Brissett and an undue reliance on special teams and the kicking game, the Colts have something to prove this Sunday.
They not only need a major confidence booster for the team itself, but the fan base is looking for one as well.
And as you can see, the fans have voiced their lack of trust in the latest survey. After barely squeaking out a victory in Week 8 against the Denver Broncos, the Colts lost their bid for another late-game win against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Both games were decided on the fate of an Adam Vinatieri field goal attempt, and quite honestly, the fan base is a little tired of the team hanging their hat on one score games.
Fans dropped their confidence level by 23 percent from a week ago down to 70 percent from 93 percent this week. This, on the heels of a minimal drop after Week 8 — from 96 percent — has finally gotten under the skin of the Colts’ faithful.
A 70 percent confidence level is the second-lowest of the regular season (52% in Week 5) from the FanPulse survey, and anything less than domination against an awful Dolphins roster — on the Colts’ own turf — will be unacceptable for many, and will result in another significant drop in confidence going forward.
Now let’s get to the national questions from this week.
The first of these is a little hilarious — asking which fan base needs a hug. The simple fact that there are five teams on this list proves that several need hugs at this point in the season.
However, after suffering their loss to the previously winless Dolphins, the New York Jets received the most votes on this one.
Interestingly enough, the Dolphins received the fewest amount of votes on this one. It’s amazing what a couple weeks of improved play will do for how a team is visualized by the national audience.
It may be that it may be more than Jets’ fans who need a hug. Their quarterback, head coach, and likely several other players may need an embrace given the attention they’ve been given in recent weeks.
In our second national question of the week, we look at the other side of the spectrum at some of the teams with the best records in the league. Though we’re looking at some almost certain playoff teams, one of these squads may need a hug after this one as well.
This one wasn’t close, though. The New Orleans Saints are clearly the best team in their division and are one of the most complete teams in the league right now. The Baltimore Ravens just knocked off the New England Patriots, so calling them anything other than capable is probably not a good idea.
I don’t know how you could even attempt to call the Patriots, or the San Francisco 49ers — who are the only undefeated team left in the NFL — anything but near Super Bowl favorites at this point, and the Green Bay Packers have Aaron Rodgers tossing the pigskin for them. Good luck convincing anyone that a team led by Rodgers is anything but a contender.
The Buffalo Bills, on the other hand, simply don’t have the offense, or trustworthy quarterback leading them to give them the same respect the rest of these teams have earned thus far in 2019.
And nearly 65 percent of the voters see it the same way. Josh Allen still hasn’t broken the barrier of the stigma that followed him out of college, and though the defense is very real in Buffalo, their offense just isn’t where it needs to be in order to scare other top teams at the moment.
The Bills did give the Patriots a real run for their money earlier in the season, but their offense is proving to be less-than-great as Tom Brady isn’t quite the same as he’s been in the past. He is still Tom Brady, though, and the AFC East is going to be very interesting to say the least as the second half of the season moves forward.