Welcome to SB Nation FanPulse — a survey of fans across the NFL, powered by SurveyMonkey. Each week, we send 32 polls to 100+ plugged in fans from each team. Patriots fans, sign up HERE to join FanPulse.
Another week, another projected victory! Over 100 fans of the New England Patriots and the Tennessee Titans were asked about the upcoming game on Sunday and both agree: The Patriots should win.
Patriots fans project a victory by an average score of 10, while Titans fans project a New England victory by an average score of 4. Combined, the Patriots are projected to win by 7 points, which is exactly the spread provided by Vegas. We’ve noticed in our polls that the average of the two fandoms’ projections is roughly what Vegas lays out.
Hopefully both fandoms are correct and the Patriots can stay ahead of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC.
Patriots fans have also been wildly consistent in their confidence of the franchise, hovering between 83% and 87% for the past four weeks. This is roughly in line with the confidence level from the first couple weeks of the season (90%, 87%). Patriots fans are some of the most confidence in the league, yet they fall well behind Rams fans (96%), Chiefs fans (98%), and Saints fans (100%). They also fall behind Bears fans (93%) and Colts fans (94%) and are tied with Panthers fans (85%).
What is the reason for the distance between the Patriots fans’ collective confidence and other fan bases? Perhaps expectations for the Patriots are simply higher than what other fans expect. There is also valid concern about the health of Rob Gronkowski and whether the defense can play at a higher level and if Tom Brady’s changed level of play is a blip or the new normal.
My expectation is for the confidence to increase if the Patriots beat the Titans with a strong defensive performance and get Rob Gronkowski back from injury after the bye week. That should quell some concerns, at least for a little while.