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.
Welp, the Indianapolis Colts’ season is in the books, and with them finishing at 7-9 (3rd AFCS) they are slotted to pick 13th in the 2020 NFL Draft. With plenty of holes to fill, and plenty of decisions set to be made over the course of the next several months, the weekly question of what the fan’s confidence level is in the team remains.
Additionally this week, the survey wants to know which Wild Card matchup we’re most looking forward to seeing this weekend. Let’s look at the Colts, and the fan’s reaction to the end of the season first.
Over the duration of the season, Colts’ fans topped an 85 percent confidence level through seven of the first nine weeks of the season. Six of those even rose above 90 percent, but the second half of the season wore on ColtsNation quickly, and the remainder of the season bore the results of that angst.
Through the final eight weeks of the regular season, Colts’ fans showed confidence levels of 60 percent or less in six of those weeks, and even had a few touch in the 30 percent range — not where any of us expected to be in 2019. Now that we are a week removed from the season finale, Colts fans are still in that 50-60 percent range, but even with a loss to a divisional foe, reality had set in with most fans, and they don’t appear to have gotten too out of sorts as a result.
Last week Colts’ fans actually increased their confidence level in the team to 57 percent, however, getting pummeled by the Jacksonville Jaguars didn’t help things much. This week the fans sit at 54 percent with the playoffs about to start, and the offseason on the horizon.
While 54 percent doesn’t appear to be much of a vote of confidence — no pun intended — with that number, the Colts sit at 15th among the rest of the league, and are currently 6th among non-playoff teams. The Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Oakland Raiders are the only others with more confidence from their respective fan base.
And for good reason for the most part. All of those teams have something to look forward to now as they head into the 2020 season. Honestly, I’m a little surprised that ColtsNation is as confident as they are, yet, we love the coach and GM, and the amount of young talent is evident. Now if we can just find a quarterback....
Now, let’s get on to those who ARE playing this week, and the FanPulse national question of the week.
Which Wild Card matchup are you most looking forward to this week?
These results shouldn’t surprise anyone. Given that the New England Patriots have such a rabid fan base, and that they also have an insane amount of those who simply want to see them fail, this is the obvious winner for the week. Granted, the Tennessee Titans finished the season at 9-7 and don’t bring a ton of excitement in with them given their past, but they did finish the season 7-3 in their final 10 games.
The Titans also averaged over 30 points per game in that same time span and had big wins over the Chiefs, all three divisional opponents, and played the New Orleans Saints strong for most of the game. Given that Mike Vrabel is leading the charge into Foxboro, it does add a bit of gravitas to the matchup and I think we all hope to see a game that can live up to that sort of a story line.
The second place matchup comes with the Saints hosting the Minnesota Vikings in the early game Sunday. It stands to reason that Drew Brees and the Saints are drawing the vast majority of the interest for this one as their offense is capable of putting 40 points up on any team in the league, and at the Vikings’ defense at least has the narrative surrounding it that it can put the handcuffs on any offense on any given day.
The Seattle Seahawks traveling to the Philadelphia Eagles falls into third place likely because of their massive fan bases (just my opinion), and because they aren’t the Buffalo Bills or the Houston Texans, who nobody seems to care about.
Yes, Deshaun Watson and Josh Allen are a draw in the matchup, but this game has 13-10 written all over it I would suspect to most fans looking at it.
The truth is that any of these games could take the game of the week with the right circumstances coming to fruition during the game, but they all have the potential to be complete stinkers as well for one reason or another.
I just want two straight days of good football with the Colts sitting at home for the postseason. I would guess that most fans of the 20 teams whose seasons are finished for 2019 feel the same way.
Cheers to some good football on Wild Card weekend!!