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.
As we enter the Divisional Round of the playoffs, things begin to get a little tighter for those still in the mix. Wild Card Weekend was everything you could have asked for if you were looking for competitive games, and we even saw two 6 seeds advance against two of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game.
Meanwhile, Indianapolis Colts’ fans simply watch and attempt to enjoy stress-free football while remaining positive about the team’s future. At any rate, Colts’ fans have maintained a decent amount of optimism considering how the team finished out their season.
Last week, fan’s confidence level dipped a little bit to 54 percent from 57 percent the week previous. This week, we saw a slight rise in overall confidence in the organization as fan’s outlook rebounded back up to 58 percent. It’s not a major improvement, but it’s not nothing either.
It’s possible that Chris Ballard’s press conference — and his admissions to failing in certain areas of the season — helped fans sympathize with the team’s GM, and re-established the collective excitement in the upcoming free agency period and NFL Draft. Ballard hasn’t been perfect thus far into his third year at the helm, but fans believe in him, they believe in Frank Reich leading this roster, and there’s still a strong trust in the talent level being raised despite such a youthful group.
Now let’s get to the national question for this week’s survey.
As I mentioned above, two 6 seeds (the Minnesota Vikings and Tennessee Titans) upset their opposing 3 seeds on Wild Card Weekend. The New England Patriots now have every question coming at them from where will Tom Brady play next year, if at all, and even questioning the future of Bill Belichick after their home loss.
Similarly, Drew Brees — who did not play like the same guy who broke the completion percentage record against our Colts — is set to be a free agent in 2020 and there are plenty of other questions regarding the New Orleans Saints after a disappointing end to such a promising season at the hands of Kirk Cousins.
So which of these two upsets surprised us most? Clearly, there weren’t very many people who felt that the Vikings had much of a chance at all to take out the Saints. Quite honestly, I didn’t either. But, give any team a terrible start to the game, some bad decisions on the field as well as from the sideline, and literally any team can accomplish anything this time of year.
The Titans were an extremely hot team heading into the postseason winning 7 of their final 10 games, and Ryan Tannehill had somehow reinvented himself with the Music City roster. He didn’t have any sort of a break out game in Foxboro by any means, but he did enough with the talent around him, and the rest of the team stepped up when they needed to.
This weekend, the Titans travel to the AFC’s top-seeded Baltimore Ravens, and the Vikings travel to the NFC’s big dogs, the San Francisco 49ers. Both of these games are on the Saturday slate, and it’s awful difficult to think that these 6-seeds can find lightening in a bottle again, especially against a couple of legit conference leaders.
While it doesn’t seem likely that these two games would produce another stunning upset, the Sunday lineup might just give us one. The Houston Texans — who’ve already won at Arrowhead this year — face off against the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Seattle Seahawks head to Lambeau Field to test the Green Bay Packers.
The Seahawks and Packers have produced some very memorable NFL moments in their recent meetings. And what more could the objective viewer want than a battle between Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson?
This weekend should bring about more great football for us to take in, and we can sit back and envision the Colts being in this situation next season.