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Fans are confident in the Patriots heading into the season opener against Pittsburgh

Related: Nobody thinks the Patriots will not repeat as AFC East champions this season

Minnesota Vikings v New England Patriots Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

The NFL’s 2019 season will be kicked off later today, but the reigning world champions will have to wait until Sunday night to enter the action: the New England Patriots will host the Pittsburgh Steelers in one of the most anticipated games of the weekend — not just because the home team will unveil its sixth championship banner before the contest. After all, the Patriots and Steelers are both projected to be among the NFL’s best teams yet again this season.

The two clubs’ fanbases apparently see them in the same light as the results of SB Nation’s latest FanPulse survey — please click here if you also want to take part — show:

New England Patriots: 96%

Pittsburgh Steelers: 84%

Seeing the Patriots with a fan confidence score of 96% ahead of opening weekend — a number that ties them for the sixth best in the NFL — is not really a surprise. After all, the team has one of the deepest rosters in all of football even after losing starting center David Andrews and core special teamer Brandon King to season-ending injuries during the preseason. Fans are obviously not worried about those recent developments and their potential impact on New England’s success.

In general, Patriots fans participating in the FanPulse survey have grown more and more confident in the team’s direction over the course of the offseason. After checking in at 78% after the early portions of free agency, New England’s confidence score grew consistently until reaching the high 90s for a first time one week into preseason:

Free agency: 78%

Pre-draft: 82%

Post-draft: 91%

Preseason Week 1: 96%

Regular season Week 1: 96%

With the Patriots’ season opener taking place on Sunday, we will find out soon whether or not the confidence in New England’s development over the last few months is justified. That being said, Week 1 is just the first step in the team’s journey and not a definitive testament to the club’s abilities and ceiling one way or another.

If you are interested in participating in our FanPulse survey, please click here!