New England Patriots fans were quite confident in their team heading into the season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Our final FanPulse survey before the game — please click here if you also want to take part in the future — showed that 96% of Patriots fans felt good about the direction the team was headed in. Likewise, Steelers fans also were quite confident ahead of Week 1 with the team scoring 84% on the confidence meter.
Fast forward one week and the two fan bases’ numbers are headed into different directions:
New England Patriots: 96%
Pittsburgh Steelers: 21%
While an unchanged 96% of New England’s followers still feel positive about the team after its decisive 33-3 victory on Sunday night, Steelers fans saw their confidence plummet down to a mere 21% after the blowout defeat — the fourth worst number in the entire NFL. The 63% decrease in confidence also is the second biggest drop of the week behind only the Atlanta Falcons’ fall from 88% before Week 1 down to 22% after.
Needless to say that the loss against the Patriots impacted Pittsburgh’s feelings about its team. The Patriots, of course, have a tradition of doing that to other fan bases — with the Steelers being on the receiving end of some devastating losses against Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and company over the years. Sunday’s beatdown certainly seems to fall in the same category, especially considering that fans did generally feel good before the game.
Of course, fan confidence has a tendency to change rather quickly. Last year, for example, the Patriots’ was at just 28% heading into Week 16 — and we all know what happened next: the team won its next five games and lifted the Vince Lombardi Trophy to cap another championship campaign. It is a long season, and a lot can and will still happen — Week 1 was just a first taste of that.
If you are interested in participating in our FanPulse survey, please click here!