by Rob Toledo Rob Toledo

The start of the NFL season is days away, and we couldn’t be more excited. But of course we’re also a little nervous. The beginning of the season offers hope, with that shade of doubt over the “what ifs.”

In order to get sentiment on what each team’s fan base is most afraid of for the upcoming season, we spent the last four weeks during the preseason scraping for data surrounding hundreds of fan blogs, tens of thousands of social media posts, various press power rankings, as well as surveying NFL fans. Below you will find our analysis on what each team’s fans are most worried about for the upcoming 2017-18 NFL season as well as whether or not fan expectations for the team are low, medium or high.

What are each NFL team’s fans worried about this season?

Arizona Cardinals:

Most fans have: Moderate expectations

Aging stars, one of the best wide receivers to ever play the game never getting a ring, and a strange sense of decline looms over the Cardinals’ fan base:

  1. A failed season after recent successes
  2. Larry Fitzgerald retiring
  3. Carson Palmer getting hurt

Atlanta Falcons:


Most fans have: High expectations

Being based in Seattle, we can assure the Falcons, a tough loss in the Super Bowl looms over the city for a while. Condolences to you for this. It appears the fans of the Falcons are very worried about the Super Bowl hangover, it was by far the biggest concern found with our analysis.

  1. Super Bowl hangover
  2. Defensive regression
  3. Coaching issues

Baltimore Ravens:

Most fans have: Moderate expectations

Injuries plague the ravens, as do an aging skill position depth chart. There also seems to be a lot of concern surrounding the Ravens’ ownership, with a lot of fans worried about their ability to manage the team to another title.

  1. Joe Flacco’s injury
  2. Ownership concerns
  3. Aging wide receivers

Buffalo Bills:

Most fans have: Low expectations

Nobody in Buffalo seems to think too highly of this team’s offense, as many complaints were about how it lacks… well, just about everything with the exception being an aging RB. Other concerns include Tyrod Taylor’s health.

  1. Nothing going for them on offense
  2. Relying too heavily on McCoy
  3. Tyrod Taylor staying healthy

Carolina Panthers

Most fans have: Moderate expectations

The NFC South is one of the most fun divisions, because there is very little dominance from one team, it’s a revolving door of champions almost ever year. The Panthers fans seem to be concerned about this inconsistency, alongside Newton never getting calls that most other QBs might get. Lastly, people seemed a bit concerned about promising receiver Kelvin Benjamin’s weight.

  1. Inconsistent season-long performances
  2. Bias against Cam Newton
  3. Kelvin Benjamin’s weight

Chicago Bears


Most fans have: Low expectations

There were a lot of… strong opinions coming out of the Chicago Bears fan base. Most people were worked up about the QB situation, but we’re not sure if this is just a Chicago thing, or if we should all believe there’s a major controversy here…? Also, a very strong hate of Green Bay’s success.

  1. Trubisky not getting enough time to develop
  2. Trubisky not starting
  3. Green Bay winning the division

Cincinnati Bengals

Most fans have: Moderate expectations

No matter your opinion on the Bengals’ play style, there’s no doubt they have a target on their back when it comes to dirty play. This seems to make a lots of fans nervous. Other concerns include Joe Mixon’s character, and of course the dreaded meme of being a “one and done” playoff team.

  1. Penalties and suspensions for dirty play
  2. Losing in the first round of the playoffs again
  3. Joe Mixon’s character

Cleveland Browns

Most fans have: Low expectations

Browns fans are some of the best in the league, loyal to a fault. But a large percentage of sentiment we found towards this team was growing tired of losing. QB issues of course being another strong concern.

  1. Another losing season
  2. Being the laughing stock of the league again
  3. Continued unknowns at QB

Dallas Cowboys

Most fans have: High expectations

Betting the house on Dax Prescott was a bold move last season, but it served the Cowboys well until the playoffs, where sometimes experience plays a big factor. Ezekiel Elliot’s suspension remains a concern, as do issues on the defensive side of the ball.

  1. Dax Prescott sophomore slump
  2. Ezekiel Elliot suspension
  3. Defensive issues

Denver Broncos

Most fans have: Moderate expectations

The Broncos had seen quite a few highlights the past few seasons, but slumped last year with QB issues. That definitely took the cake for the biggest concern the team’s fans had this year, paired with bringing in a big question mark at head coach. A significant number of fans seem a bit worried that the defense can’t remain as dominant as they have been, which would equal trouble, with an offense that will have trouble in shootouts.

  1. Quarterback issues
  2. New coaching
  3. Defense regression

Detroit Lions

Most fans have: Moderate expectations

One notable trend across all teams that haven’t won in the playoffs in a while, is that their fans seem to be getting more and more sick of it. Pretty obvious and understandable. The Lions fans also seem a bit fed up with Caldwell’s coaching, and some expressed concerns at the size of Stafford’s contract. But so it goes when there are only about 15 people on earth capable of running an NFL offense at QB successfully.

  1. Playoff slump
  2. Jim Caldwell’s coaching
  3. Matt Stafford’s contract eating up cap

Green Bay Packers

Most fans have: High expectations

Any year that Aaron Rodgers doesn’t put another ring on his finger feels like a wasted season for Packers fans, and they’re probably not wrong. We’re staring at greatness, but he’s only getting older. Play calling and defense also strike a nasty nerve with the cheeseheads.

  1. Aaron Rodgers getting older
  2. Defensive isssues
  3. Play calling decisions

Houston Texans

Most fans have: Low expectations

Injuries on what should be one of the most dominant DLs in the league perch atop the list of most Texans’ fans biggest fears, as Watt and Clowney haven’t played too many snaps together. Big question marks around the QB as well.

  1. JJ Watt staying healthy
  2. Jadeveon Clowney staying healthy
  3. Tom Savage as the starting quarterback

Indianapolis Colts


Most fans have: Low expectations

Bet the house on one of the most guaranteed successes at QB ever, and well… when he gets hurt, things get ugly real quick. The real problem, at least from the fans’ perspective is that Luck is basically stranded on an island with not much of a supporting cast. Bad coaching as well, a lot of fans complained about Pagano sticking around past his welcome. In fourth place, as a bonus, was not being able to win in a terrible division.

  1. Andrew Luck’s health
  2. Not giving Luck tools to succeed
  3. Coach Pagano not getting fired

Jacksonville Jaguars

Most fans have: Low expectations

The Gus Bus finally crashed, but things aren’t really looking up for most of the fans despite the change. There are always a few folks who swear this is the year, but most responses we got weren’t very optimistic, especially with Bortles slowly seeming like he’s not the answer.

  1. Blake Bortles not being the star they were hoping
  2. Too many over-hyped seasons
  3. Defensive struggles

Kansas City Chiefs

Most fans have: Moderate expectations

The Chiefs seem to be in a tight spot, according to fans. Not good enough to make it to the Super Bowl, but not bad enough to start calling for a rebuild. Playoff purgatory, if you will.

  1. Lacking a high-power offense
  2. Looming QB controversy
  3. Not being able to win in the playoffs

Los Angeles Chargers

Most fans have: Moderate expectations

Most of the analysis for all the other teams found statistical significance through volume of responses and quantity of press opinion. With the Los Angeles Chargers… we weren’t able to reach what we can confidently call statistical significance. We found some directional trends, so take these with a grain of salt. We’re not sure if this is indicative of a bigger issue with the recent relocation. Sorry, LA Chargers fans.

  1. Ownership issues
  2. New coaching changes
  3. New city not supporting the team

Los Angeles Rams

Most fans have: Low expectations

Second year quarterback coming off of a mediocre rookie season. Playing in a new city. A stadium that is already running into construction problems. So it goes with the Rams. We’re sure they’ll beat the Seahawks at least once this year.

  1. Jared Goff not developing properly
  2. Defensive struggles / Aaron Donald’s holdout
  3. New stadium issues

Miami Dolphins

Most fans have: Moderate expectations

Tannehill’s injury seemed like a season ender for the Dolphins, not many teams can handle losing their starting QB. That is, until Jay Cutler decided to un-retire and sling for the team for what will likely be one final season. Fans seem nervous about this, but many also seemed very excited about the mystery. And on the back of any AFCE team’s mind? The Patriots of course.

  1. Jay Cutler at QB
  2. Offensive line issues
  3. Patriots winning the division, again

Minnesota Vikings

Most fans have: Moderate expectations

The resurgence of Sam Bradford or just a holdover until Teddy Bridgewater is back from injury. An offense that struggles without any big weapons at WR (sans Diggs of course), and just like the Bears, general hatred of Packers, who just always seem to find a way to win this division.

  1. Whether or not Teddy Bridgewater will ever play again
  2. Sam Bradford staying healthy
  3. Losing the division to the Packers again

New England Patriots

Most fans have: High expectations

Anyone betting against the Pats repeating here probably turned the Super Bowl off in the third quarter. The Vegas money seems to be favoring them for another ring. But that doesn’t mean fans aren’t concerned about things. If Touchdown Tom doesn’t retire soon, do the Pats trade him? How long can he stay healthy for? And what about Coach Belichick? The NFL’s versions of first-world problems.

  1. What happens to Tom Brady?
  2. Can Tom Brady stay healthy?
  3. What comes after Belichick’s retirement?

New Orleans Saints

Most fans have: Moderate expectations

Similar to the Green Bay Packers, a lot of Saints fans feel they’re watching greatness wasted with Drew Brees only having one ring despite being one of the most prolific QBs in the NFL. The Saints also seem to struggle with salary cap management, keeping them from being able to acquire more talent.

  1. Wasting Drew Brees’ talent
  2. Salary cap management
  3. Defensive struggles

New York Giants


Most fans have: Moderate expectations

The Giants are the league’s greatest mystery, and this is only made more apparent by trying to discover consistent trends through the press’s reporting and fan surveys. The things that stuck out the most though, certainly were OBJ’s contract situation, Eli Manning’s inconsistency, and then a general “New York” attitude around the national spotlight the team remains in season after season.

  1. The media circus in New York
  2. Odell Beckham Jr.’s contract
  3. Eli Manning’s inconsistency

New York Jets

Most fans have: (REALLY) Low expectations

By far and away, the fans with the lowest expectations going into the 2017-18 season are the NY Jets. I don’t think anyone is trying to trick themselves into believing there isn’t a full-on tank going on here. There is also still a very healthy hatred of the New England Patriots that remains on top of a lot of Jets’ fans’ minds.

  1. Tanking the season
  2. Not drafting well next season
  3. New England winning the Super Bowl again

Oakland Raiders

Most fans have: High expectations

An impending move for the Raiders isn’t going to be easy. While there are plenty of fans who say they’re going to stay loyal, a large majority have said they’ll likely move on to other teams (and some saying they’ll give up on the NFL).

  1. The team moving to Las Vegas
  2. Marshawn Lynch’s performance
  3. Derek Carr’s celiing

Philadelphia Eagles

Most fans have: Moderate expectations

The Eagles fans have seen a few seasons of getting gashed in the secondary, and don’t seem super excited about this upcoming season’s defensive prospect. Coaching issues and starting off strong but then falling apart towards the end of the season seem to be scaring most fans as well.

  1. The defensive secondary
  2. Hot start to the season with a late collapse
  3. Coaching issues

Pittsburgh Steelers

Most fans have: High expectations

The past few years, the Steelers have been playing the role of always being a bridesmaid, and never the bride. An aging QB, and a running back with injuries already, and the looming Patriots of course… all on the minds of Steelers fans.

  1. Ben Roethisberger’s longevity
  2. Le’Veon Bell’s injuries
  3. Not being able to beat the Patriots in the playoffs

San Francisco 49ers

Most fans have: Low expectations

Rebuilds mean expectations are generally in the right place, but they’re also risky as the team likely has to make a few mistakes to learn what direction they want to point the ship. The 49ers fan base seems aware of this, as it’s definitely one of their biggest concerns.

  1. Rebuilding the team the right direction
  2. Poor ownership
  3. Bryan Hoyer’s skills

Seattle Seahawks

Most fans have: High expectations

The Seahawks data was the funniest of almost all 32 teams. While most teams had one or two dominant concerns, the Seahawks fanbase had the largest gap between the top concern and everything else. So much, in fact, that we’ve decided to list it twice.

  1. The offensive line
  2. No seriously, the offensive line
  3. Locker room drama

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Most fans have: Moderate expectations

Anytime a team is on Hard Knocks, expectations and hopes tend to go way up. The Bucs, seemingly growing the right direction, are no exception. But the show also creates dozens of smaller concerns, as the show airs a team’s dirty laundry.

  1. Kicking
  2. Jamis Winston decision making
  3. Defense giving up too many big plays

Tennessee Titans


Most fans have: High expectations

What a turnaround this team is seeing. But of course it’s all for almost nothing if they don’t get that elusive Super Bowl ring at some point. Mariota’s injury scared everyone, and there are plenty of question marks in various positions, but the fans seem excited.

  1. Mariota’s injury
  2. The team hitting a ceiling
  3. Various missing skill pieces preventing a playoff run

Washington Redskins

Most fans have: Moderate expectations

Oh the Redskins… dragging “Kurt” Cousins along seems to be the biggest thing the team is concerned about. One fan commented he’s concerned no star players want to play in Washington because of things like this, which was another common concern, in their management.

  1. Kirk Cousins’ contract
  2. Losing talent
  3. Ownership issues