Just who has the most rabid following of fans in the NFL? And, as you might imagine, we’re also curious which teams are at the bottom of such a category, too? All of it was laid out in an annual study by Emory University in Atlanta and it includes, where the Bucs, the Dolphins and the Jaguars rank?
As a quick aside, if you’re a Jaguars fan, you’re pretty much always understanding of where you’re going to rank on one of these lists. This is particularly, with the Jags having been perennial losers for so long and the small market size they play in in North Florida.
That being written, it’s also not surprising to see the teams at the top of Emory’s list include the ultra-successful Patriots, as well as iconic brand name teams like the Cowboys and the Steelers. And, other obvious large-market teams like the Eagles and the Giants topping their list:
The @dallascowboys, @Patriots, @Eagles, @Giants, & @steelers top this year's #NFL rankings by Prof. Lewis. The @Bengals, @Jaguars, @Titans, @Chiefs, & @RamsNFL are on the bottom of the list. https://t.co/Fe2PePPDKF pic.twitter.com/zHvcmUgVss
— Emory MAC (@Emory_MAC) June 24, 2019
Where did the Bucs and the Dolphins rank? And just how far down the list are the Jags on the heels of having an awful 2018? Let’s take a look in a second, but first here’s the methodology behind what Emory did.
As one of the researchers who wrote the article supporting their findings, Michael Lewis lays out that they were specifically looking for three criteria to rank the teams. Those would be “Fan Equity, Social Equity and Road Equity.”
Fan Equity is more on how much money does a team make revenue-wise from its fan base and its home games? Social Equity is the engagement of a team through social media, no matter wins or losses. And, Road Equity, according to the Emory study, focuses more on teams drawing on the road after adjusting for their performance.
Anybody that knows anything about that last component knows, whenever the Patriots, the Steelers or the Cowboys show up, there are legions of their fans guaranteed to be in your stadium and spending money.
So with that in mind, here’s a look at the full list:
— Emory MAC (@Emory_MAC) June 25, 2019
The Dolphins came in middle of the pack at 14th overall in the Emory study. It’s further interesting that they ranked 9th in Road Equity, even though Miami hasn’t been a perennial playoff team for years, and Dan Marino is long gone.
As for the Buccaneers, eight losing seasons in the last decade has beaten-down the home fan base and their ranking of 25th in the Fan Equity category helped put Tampa Bay at 23rd overall on the list. It is interesting that the Bucs scored very well, as a Road Equity in the Emory study, ranking as 11th in their methodology.
Then the Jaguars came in at 29th overall with a 30 in Fan Equity, and a likewise 30 in Social Engagement. Clearly, the Jacksonville market size is one of the smallest in the NFL and a bad 2018 season, even off of a playoff year two years ago, killed a lot of “the buzz”around the team.
You further take into account that the Jaguars have had a floundering quarterback in Blake Bortles at the helm, when so many other teams have a star that fans will gravitate to, and it’s obvious why Jacksonville was being hindered. They hope to now have that corrected with former Eagles quarterback Nick Foles having signed with Jacksonville in free agency.
It is interesting on the Emory Fandom list that the two at the bottom are the Chiefs and the Rams. That stirred up debate on the “NFL Total Access” show on Tuesday night, including analysts David Carr and Willie McGinest being puzzled by the Raiders and Chiefs being ranked so low on the list:
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) June 26, 2019
It’s hard to grasp how Emory in their methodology has the Chiefs at 29 for Fan Equity when Arrowhead Stadium is known as one of the most raucous environments and the Chiefs were really good and sold out a year ago.
It’s much easier to understand that the Rams with competition in Los Angeles for the likes of: the Lakers, the Dodgers and obviously, Hollywood and entertainment would be dead last in Fan Equity or Social Engagement. Yet they were in the study. And, this despite the fact that L.A. won the NFC, and went to the Superbowl a year ago.
The bottom line is that winning is the key to everything, especially with fan support. And, for the three teams in Florida, or the rest of the NFL, you are only one good season away from changing your standing on lists like these.
Week two fantasy football tips for Dolphins and Jaguars
With week two of the NFL season starting tonight many are starting to lock-in on match-up’s for Fantasy Football this weekend. Last week the Bucs and Niners game didn’t live up to the over. The Jags lost Nick Foles, but still managed to put up points. As for the Dolphins, well, not much went well for them last week. Moving on:
This week the Bucs did some damage fantasy-wise Thursday night battle at Carolina. WR Chris Godwin continues to make those who spent an early round pick on him look smarter and smarter with an 8 catch, 121 yard, 1 TD reception day. He’s been Jameis Winston’s favorite/best target, so far, in 2018.
Tampa Bay also pounded the run with Peyton Barber with 23 tough carries for 82 yards and the other Buccaneers TD. There will be plenty of owners smiling who took Barber and in a lot of leagues, he may still be available.
Onto help for Sunday,
The Jaguars got some bad luck last week when Nick Floes threw his first touchdown as a member of the team and at the same time injured his shoulder for the next several weeks. When Gardner Minshew (above) came into the game though the Jags were still able to throw, he hit both Dede Westbrook and Chris Conley for touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
With a rookie under center look for the Jags to really get Lenard Fournette involved early. On Monday the Texans allowed 140 yards rushing to the Saints running backs. Conley also had the most targets on the team with 7. D.J. Chark lead the team in yards with 146 yards.
As for the Dolphins, they struggled last week. They now face the Patriots and again will face an uphill battle. In a game, they are expected to be trailing a lot that means a lot of passing. Preston Williams found the end zone. Davante Parker led the team in targets with seven but only came down with 3 for 75 yards.
With a lot of potential garbage time, one of the Fins receivers could put up some good numbers late in the game helping out your team.
Jags rookie QB Gardner Minshew embracing start against Texans
The preseason hype surrounding Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles ended quickly, when he broke his left clavicle in the first quarter of the opener Sunday with K.C., keeping him out indefinitely. Duval is wasting no time though…rallying behind rookie QB Gardner Minshew II. Partly because of his game, and partly because of his mustache.
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) September 9, 2019
Minshew is expected to start at quarterback this Sunday against the Houston Texans. He played the final three quarters of a season-opening loss and had a solid, and at times outstanding, day, completing 22 of 25 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns. Minshew also played extensively in the preseason to get live reps.
The a sixth-round selection from Washington State spoke to the media on Wednesday about how he plans to enter into his new leadership role.
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) September 11, 2019
“I learned a lot of things going to different schools and learned the right way to step in a try to lead and that’s going in and earning respect and not demanding respect.”
Similarly to how he stepped into his QB1 role, Minshew’s path into the NFL has been anything but traditional. He began his college football career in 2015 at Northwest Mississippi Community College and led his team to a NJCAA National Football Championship, passing for 3,228 yards with a 60.8% completion percentage.
Minshew then transferred to East Carolina University in 2016 where he played in seven games while starting two at QB for the Pirates. With one remaining year of eligibility he seriously considered becoming a third string QB at Alabama behind Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa, primarily to begin a foundation for an eventual coaching career.
However, Minshew decided to enroll as a graduate student at Washington State after receiving a phone call from Washington State head coach Mike Leach who asked him, “Do you want to be a backup at Alabama, or lead the nation in passing?” Last season he did in fact lead the nation in passing averaging 367.6 yards per game. Minshew was then selected by the Jaguars in the sixth round, 178th overall in the 2019 NFL Draft.
While his impressive performance last Sunday landed him the starting spot for this weekend in Houston, he won’t be without any competition until Foles’ return. On Monday the team did a deal with the Steelers for backup QB, Joshua Dobbs.
Dobbs is a former 4th round pick in the 2017 draft by the Steelers out of the University of Tennessee. He did not play in a game in his rookie season and in 2018 saw limited action primarily in mop-up duty of five games throwing only 12 total passes for 43 yards and an interception.
While the Jags won’t be without any hope on offense, it’s clear they’ll be trying to piece together the next few weeks until Foles is back. It’s going to take others, like RB Leonard Fournette, to step up and carry more of the load in the short term, if the Jags are going to have any playoff chance at the end of the season.