Have you ever wondered how NFL teams ranked in terms of social media popularity? We’ve recently plucked numbers from five of the most widely used social media platforms: Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, & TikTok. Here are the results, with a dash of history to boot:
#32 – Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars franchise was born in 1995 and doesn’t yet have a conference title. They haven’t yet reached a million followers on any of the social media platforms in the tally. They are easily the least popular team in the NFL. The Jaguars’ total follows/subs across the five sites amounted to only 2,469,030.
#31 – Tennessee Titans
The Titans were originally known as the Houston Oilers, and they debuted in 1960. They won two NFC-AFC pre-merger championships. Afterward, they’ve only managed a single Super Bowl appearance and lost in a tight game to Kurt Warner and the “Greatest Show on Turf”. They wrestled up a million followers on Twitter, or else they would be in the same boat as the Jags. The Titans have an underwhelming 3,809,611 total followers spanning the tally.
#30 – Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals are the oldest team in the NFL. They can trace their roots even further, going back to 1898 when they were called the Morgan Athletic Club. The owner Chris O’Brien bought old, faded uniforms from the University of Chicago, and described them as “cardinal red”. The franchise has accrued 4,370,791 social media followers.
#29 – Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers were founded in 1959 in Los Angeles. By 1961 they were playing in San Diego. They joined the NFL during the 1970 merger. In 2017, after 56 seasons in San Diego, they moved back to LA. The Bolts have-4,475,807 followers.
#28 – New York Jets
The Jets were founded in 1959 and known as the Titans of New York. They’d play under that name until 1963. They joined the NFL in the merger. Joe Namath led them to a Super Bowl win in 1969 that he famously guaranteed. Their fans have endured more and waited longer than many other fans. Their J-E-T-S chant is emblematic and proves their enduring sense of pride. They have 4,599,588 long-suffering followers.
#27 – Buffalo Bills
The Bills played their first season in 1960 and have two pre-merger championships. They are the only team in New York that plays their home games in the same state. Their name hails from the famous American frontiersman William Frederick Cody. The nickname “Buffalo Bill” was the prize he won by competing in an 8-hour buffalo shooting competition. Afterward, his job led him to 18 more months of slaughter, for a grand total of 4,282 dead buffalos by his hand. The Bills have 4,679,948 followers.
#26 – Washington Commanders
The Commanders played their first NFL game in 1932. They were originally the Boston Braves. The team moved to DC and changed their name to the Redskins, holding onto it through adversity from 1937-2020. After a brief stint as the Washington Football Team, they’ve settled on their current name. They have 4,773,361 followers.
#25 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers first season in the NFL was 1976. They lost their first 26 games. They were even the subjects of constant mockery by the likes of Johnny Carson. Nobody wanted to be the first to lose to them. Then they played the Saints and the streak finally ended. These days, they win Super Bowls and they’ve got the GOAT. They have 4,989,000 followers.
#24 – Los Angeles Rams
Originally the Cleveland Rams, they were co-founded by a lawyer and former player in 1936. After being purchased by the Reeves family in 1941, it took a lawsuit to get them out of Cleveland. The Los Angeles Rams have 5,033,561 followers.
#23 – Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals team was planned out and group-bought into existence by way of a former Cleveland Browns coach named Paul Brown. Art Modell bought his stake in 1961 but gave him an eight-year coaching contract. Brown then coached the Bengals from 1968-1975, until he was ruthlessly fired by Modell due to single losing season. There was a well-known a fiery feud between the two. The Bengals have 5,041,815 followers.
#22 Indianapolis Colts
The current Colts team was born from the ashes of a financially failed franchise once known as the Miami Seahawks. They were the Baltimore Colts from 1953-1983 before moving to Indianapolis. The Colts have 5,091,837 followers.
#21 Cleveland Browns
The Browns are named after their first coach Paul Brown. They were in Cleveland from 1944-1996. To Cleveland’s bitter dismay, owner Art Modell then took his franchise and moved to Baltimore. He was sued and Cleveland kept their Browns name and records intact. They had to wait for a new stadium to be built, and they were reborn in 1999. They have 5,235,970 followers.
#20 Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins have a history that many of their older fans can bask in the memories of. Under the whistle of Hall of Fame head coach Don Shula, they only had two losing seasons in 29 years. There is also the completely undefeated squad of 1972 led by the No-Name Defense. Add to that the legend of Dan Marino. The Fins have 5,451,901 followers.
#19 Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings played their first season in 1961. Their name was chosen because Minnesota was a center for Scandinavian culture. They won a pre-merger championship in 1969. Of all the teams yet to win a Super Bowl, they have the highest win percentage. The Vikes have 5,495,856 followers.
#18 Houston Texans
The Texans arrived on the scene in 2002. Theirs is the now-defunct name of multiple failed franchises before them. An extensive study had led to the name choices between the Apollos, Bobcats, Stallions, Texans, and Wildcatters. Despite having fielded some talented squads, they’ve never won an away playoff game and the only team to never appear in a conference championship. They have 5,514,270 followers.
#17 Detroit Lions
The Lions began as the Portsmouth Spartans in 1928 and weren’t known as the Detroit Lions until 1934. They were dominant in the 50s. Since that time, they’ve won a single playoff game in 1991. The post-merger era heartache suffered in Detroit on account of this franchise is incalculable. They have 5,674,781 followers.
#16 Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons have been around for 55 years. They’ve been to the Super Bowl twice and lost them both. One of those losses happened to be a soul-eating comeback defeat by the hands of Tom Brady. The fans can never undo the trauma they’ve experienced. They have 6,582,821 followers.
#15 Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens franchise is one of the most successful considering its young age. They’ve won two Super Bowls and six division championships since their inception in 1996. Opponents and their fans still can’t even whisper the name Ray Lewis without invoking painful memories. For 17 years, he took over games and terrorized quarterbacks league wide. The Ravens have 6,960,542 followers.
#14 Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders were originally voted in a contest to be called the “Oakland Señors”, but were the subjects of local mockery, so they changed it to Raiders. They were known as the meanest defense in the NFL, and home to half-man, half-beasts like Lyle Alzado and Howie Long. There was a section called the “Black Hole”, which was one of the scariest places in the league you could get tangled up in. Dare not mention the “Tuck Rule” in tense moments, or just to be safe, ever. They are three-time Super Bowl winners but have ultimately been on a highly disputed dry spell since 1984. The Raiders have 7,585,291 followers.
#13 Carolina Panthers
The Panthers were introduced to the NFL in 1995 and made it to the Super Bowl twice since then. They were struck down by Tom Brady’s Patriots in the first appearance, and Peyton Manning’s Broncos in the next. They currently have a heartbroken social media following of 8,011,001.
#12 Chicago Bears
The Bears were originally known as the Decatur Staleys, but have been known by their current name since 1922. They are the second oldest team in the NFL. They have eight pre-merger championships but appeared in only one Super Bowl, which they won by a landslide against the Patriots. Their defense in 1985 led by Mike Singletary was arguably the best of all time. They were ferocious and hurt opposing quarterbacks often. Da Bears have a strong presence on social media with 8,150,557 followers.
#11 New Orleans Saints
The Saints were an expansion team that played their first game in 1967. They were shamefully bad early on, going 20 consecutive seasons without a winning record. They didn’t win their first playoff game until 2000. They hired Sean Payton in 2006 and finally won their only Super Bowl in 2009. They have a passionate online presence of 8,396,077 followers.
#10 Denver Broncos
The Broncos stumbled out of the gates in 1960, having a losing record every season until 1973. Since 1975, they’ve been pretty good. They’ve won three Super Bowls out of eight appearances in that span. Their rich history is represented by a growing presence of Hall of Famers. Their fanbase may be laidback, but they love their Broncs, even when they’re bad. Denver has 8,635,054 followers.
The John Elway helicopter dive! pic.twitter.com/2k61OvmMDE
— Lee Wasserman (@TheWasserman) April 25, 2021
#9 Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs are a product of Lamar Hunt’s undeniable ambition. They were a good team before and after the merger. They did have a negative stretch including losing ten of eleven playoff games from 1993 to 2017. But now they have a quarterback like no other who preceded him. The fans are strapped in with eager anticipation that he’ll bring home his second Super Bowl. The Chiefs are 8,784,659 followers strong.
#8 New York Giants
The Giants joined the NFL in 1925, along with four other teams. If you factor in their four pre-merger championships, they are the third most decorated team in the NFL. They also have more championship appearances than any other team, with 19. The Giants have 8,930,713 followers.
#7 San Franscisco 49ers
The 49ers have enjoyed great success since joining the league in 1946. Winners of five of their seven Super Bowl appearances, they had one of the greatest teams of all time in 1984. They have five players on the 1980s All Decade Team, including Jerry Rice and Joe Montana. The 49ers have 9,689,708 followers.
#6 Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks broke into the league in 1976. They have since won one of their three Super Bowl appearances. Their fans are known as the 12th man. They have the loudest stadium in the NFL, and it broke the Guinness World Record twice. They have 10,124,106 followers.
#5 Green Bay Packers
The Packers were originally the Indian Packers, a meat packing company. They were founded in 1919 by Earl “Curly” Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun. There’s no short summary that could do this iconic franchise justice. They had Vince Lombardi, Bart Starr, Reggie White, and Brett Favre. Those titans of football just scratch the surface. The Packers have an extremely loyal 10,724,856 followers.
#4 Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles played their first season in 1933. Since that time, they’ve won three pre-merger championships, and one Super Bowl. The team has intense rivalries with their entire division. Their fans have a notorious reputation, but their passion knows no bounds. They show up in hordes and sing bird songs in glorious harmony. The Eagles have 10,782,082 followers.
#3 Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers have been in the league since 1933, but only managed one pre-merger playoff game in 1947. Post-merger, this team lit the fuse and laughed. They’ve won six Super Bowls. Their 1977 team had Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, “Mean” Joe Green, and the rest of the Steel Curtain. Their fans are rabid with Terrible Towels. You can’t escape them, even if you tried. Their online presence is a booming 14,580,000 followers.
#2 New England Patriots
The Patriots won all six of their Super Bowls via the former dynamic duo quarterback Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick. The organization is a success story both in the physical world, and the world of social media. Fans, however, are left to ponder if that success will continue as the Brady-less Pats are forced to compete with heavyweights in an increasingly potent AFC East. They have an eye-popping 17,137,227 followers.
#1 Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys were in expansion team in 1960. It took them until 1966 before they had a winning season. They have since won five Super Bowls. Two came by way of Staubach in the 70s, the other three by way of Aikman in the 90s. They have the most social media followers. Due in large to the marketing strategy of their owner and GM, they hold the lead with 18,397,435 followers.
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