10 NFL Teams With the Most Diehard Fans, New Data Says
Surprisingly, dynasty teams like the Cowboys and Packers didn't make the list.
Baseball might be America's pastime, but football is the most synonymous with your average U.S. sports fan. Think of football games and small-town high schools, parking lot tailgates and rowdy sports bars. In fact, the National Football League (NFL) makes football the second-most profitable sport in the world, according to Money Inc. There are 32 football teams in the U.S., though not all of them contribute to this financial windfall equally. And what makes some more profitable than others could have to do with their followers. A new ranking from Canada Sports Betting breaks down the 10 NFL teams with the most diehard fans since 2020.
To arrive at their findings, researchers at the company looked at the search volume of more than 500 keywords related to NFL teams over the last three years. "The keywords covered all aspects, including general team performance, merchandise, individual player news, upcoming matches, team stadiums, game tickets, and more," they shared in an email. They then calculated the year-over-year increase in fan interest to rank the teams. Keep reading to see if your team landed on the list.
Year-Over-Year Increase in Fan Interest: 7 percent
The Detroit Lions and Michigan were ranked seventh in a related list of the teams with the most supportive in-state fans. Wisconsin and Ohio follow with the most Lions fans.
And these fans must be especially dedicated because, according to ABC News affiliate WRIC, "The Detroit Lions are the only team that has been in the NFL for all 57 Super Bowls, but hasn't played in any of them."
New York Jets
Year-Over-Year Increase in Fan Interest: 8 percent
Both of New York City's NFL teams play at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, but it's the Jets who routinely get mocked for their poor record. In fact, after last year's season, "The Jets now have the longest playoff drought among any NFL, NBA, MLB or NHL team," reported NBC Sports.
The Jets haven't made the playoffs since 2010, but it looks like that hasn't affected their fans, most of whom are actually from New Jersey. New York and Connecticut fans follow, respectively.
And the Jets fandom may soon grow, as the team recently signed four-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers as their quarterback.
New York Giants
Year-Over-Year Increase in Fan Interest: 8 percent
The majority of the New York Giants fans are also from New Jersey, followed by Connecticut and then New York.
Unlike the Jets, though, the Giants have had some more recent successes. Two of their four Super Bowl wins occurred in 2008 and 2012—both against the New England Patriots. The 2008 win "was the third biggest upset in Super Bowl history," according to DAZN News, made famous by David Tyree's "helmet catch."
Year-Over-Year Increase in Fan Interest: 12 percent
Minnesota comes in fifth for having the most in-state fans. North Dakota and South Dakota follow as the biggest fans.
The Vikings are another team that has never won a Vince Lombardi trophy, but "across the Super Bowl era, they are the only team never to have three consecutive losing seasons," said noted documentarian Jon Bois, who created The History of the Minnesota Vikings, in an interview with CBS News. "They keep pushing, for better and honestly sometimes for worse. But their spirit is just unbreakable."
Kansas City Chiefs
Year-Over-Year Increase in Fan Interest: 18 percent
It's not surprising that the Kansas City Chiefs made the list. Since quarterback Patrick Mahomes joined the team in 2017, the team has gone to the Super Bowl three times, winning all but one game.
Per the Chiefs website, "Mahomes is the youngest player ever to win both a league MVP and a Super Bowl title," and he "tops the franchise's career passing charts in multiple categories."
The Chiefs also come in third place for having the most in-state fans. Kansas fans are followed by those in Missouri and Nebraska.
RELATED: The Biggest Tourist Trap in Every State.
Year-Over-Year Increase in Fan Interest: 27 percent
The Jacksonville Jaguars were formed in 1995, making them one of the newest teams in the NFL. Since that time, they have not won a Super Bowl and have garnered a reputation as a bit of a lackluster team. Once again, though, this hasn't affected the fans.
"Despite there being a constant debate over whose fans are the most loyal or the most passionate, it's clear that much can be learned from keyword volume, and it's good to see some of the 'smaller' fanbases—like the Jacksonville Jaguars—among the most dedicated," said a Canada Sports Betting spokesperson.
And after signing first-round draft pick Trevor Lawrence as their quarterback in 2021, fans are hopeful that the teams' luck will turn around.
Year-Over-Year Increase in Fan Interest: 33 percent
Buffalo Bills fans are nicknamed "Bills Mafia," so you can imagine how intense they are. They're famous for their rowdy tailgates, which include "jumping through tables" (this is dangerous and not advisable), and an ever-present superfan named Pinto Ron.
The majority of Buffalo Bills fans are from New York, followed by Wyoming and Pennsylvania.
San Francisco 49ers
Year-Over-Year Increase in Fan Interest: 34 percent
The San Francisco 49ers have long been known for their national fan base—known as "Niners Nation"—which might explain why they come in third on this list. The majority of their fans are from California, followed by Nevada and Hawaii.
The 49ers have won the Super Bowl five times in their history, but the most recent win was in 1994. Levi's Stadium, where they play, may also have something to do with the dedication of their fans, as it's been named one of the most high-tech sports venues in the world.
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Year-Over-Year Increase in Fan Interest: 42 percent
If there's any team that can give the Bills a run for their money in the wild fan department, it's arguably the Philadelphia Eagles. In fact, their old venue, Veterans Stadium, had an actual jail.
"Instead of ejecting fans or sending them to a drunk tank … offenders at Veterans Stadium would be hauled to court in the bowels of the stadium. They'd wait in a holding cell and then, sometimes minutes later, appear before a judge for sentencing," reported SFGATE.
Expectedly, the majority of their fans are in Pennsylvania, followed by Delaware and New Jersey. It's also not shocking that the team saw a nearly 50 percent increase in fan interest since 2020. Two years prior, the Eagles won their first Super Bowl against the New England Patriots, the NFL's most-winning team.
Year-Over-Year Increase in Fan Interest: 80 percent
The Bengals are yet another team to have never won a Super Bowl, though they have gone three times. Their most recent appearance was in 2022 (previously, they'd only gone in 1981 and 1989), where they were ultimately defeated by the Los Angeles Rams.
This improved performance likely attributed to their rise in fandom, along with the addition of Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow in 2020, and a growing rivalry with Kansas City.
Though Ohio fans are their biggest supporters, the state came in 10th for having the most-supportive in-state fans. Their other big followers are Kentucky and Indiana.