The New England Patriots played a competitive game against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night, but eventually came up short when they failed to find the end zone from one yard out as time expired. Even though the team was one yard from defeating one of the best teams in the NFL on the road, the Patriots’ fan confidence did take a hit in Week 2 as a look at SB Nation’s latest Reacts! survey shows.
While 92 percent of Patriots fans felt good about the direction of the club following its opening day win against the Miami Dolphins, the number decreased to 80 percent after the game in Seattle. New England now ranks 17th league-wide on the confidence meter and is back to the same basic levels that it was on heading into the regular season when 81 percent of participants had positive thoughts about the team’s development.
The 12-percent decrease should not come as too big a surprise. After all, the team did show some uncharacteristic weaknesses in its downfield coverage and also was unable to establish a consistent presence in the running game — two things that worked very well against Miami. While the Patriots’ passing game did show some positive strides, the two big negatives were not ignored by those partaking in the survey.
Heading into a Week 3, New England now faces a team whose recent success has fans buying in: the Las Vegas Raiders started the regular season with back-to-back victories over the Carolina Panthers and the New Orleans Saints, fielding one of the league’s most potent offense and a defense capable of playing a complementary role. Due to the team’s recent success, Raiders fans are feeling pretty good about the direction of their club.
This is not a new development, though. While the team ended the 2019 campaign with a 7-9 record and a confidence score of 53 percent, the number quickly jumped during the offseason: it reached 90 percent after free agency, 88 percent following the draft, and 97 percent heading into opening weekend. Since then, the number has remained steady at universal approval of 100 percent.
Of course, this is merely a reflection of how fans on both sides view their teams at this point in time. But it shows that the Raiders, for the first time in a long time, are looking like a competitor again — one that will have to prove that it belongs among the AFC’s top teams when traveling to Foxboro to take on the 1-1 Patriots.
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