Entering Week 4’s matchup against the Buffalo Bills, fans of the New England Patriots feel pretty good about the team’s direction: while the confidence score is down a bit compared to last week’s league-high 98%, 93% of participants in our most recent FanPulse survey — please click here if you also want to take part in the future — are still optimistic about how the team is developing and about the path on which it is on.
And while Bills fans also feel good about the state of their team (the team scored 84% on the confidence meter this week), the rest of the AFC East is a pessimistic wasteland. Why would it not be, though, considering that both the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets remain winless three games into their respective regular seasons? This week’s FanPulse numbers therefore reflect the state of both teams at this point in the season.
What stands out is that the Dolphins’ fan base is only the 15th least optimistic in the NFL currently. Sitting at 49%, which is actually an improvement over last week’s 41%, the team’s followers appear to have resigned to the fact that 2019 is a major rebuild for the franchise under first-year head coach Brian Flores. Miami has its eyes on the future, and slowly but steadily the club’s followers are getting comfortable with this approach.
The same cannot be said about the Jets. While the club had an approval rating of 15% heading into its Week 3 contest against the Patriots, the number decreased to 13% after a 30-14 defeat that was never as close as the final score might indicate. The team of head coach Adam Gase is already facing some major questions about its long-term vision, roster management, and talent both on the field and the coaching staff.
Even more pessimism, this time also including the Dolphins, can be found when looking at the national question that was sent to FanPulse participants earlier this week: which winless team will make the playoffs? Six clubs currently remain without an entry in the win column, and, as mentioned above, two of them reside in the AFC East. Needless to say that faith in the two squads to turn their respective seasons around is essentially non-existent.
Neither the Jets nor the Dolphins were able to crack the 10% barrier on this question, which speaks for the team’s recent performances and the division they play in: with the Patriots the odds-on favorite to win the title for an 11th straight year, and with the Bills looking like up-and-comers so far, fans do not think that coming back from 0-3 to jump into a wild card playoff spot is in the cards for the two clubs.
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