State of the Patriots (SOTP)

ESPN dropped a bombshell on the Patriots organization Friday indicating there was turmoil between the big 3. It’s amazing seeing the number of people jump into the discussion to take advantage of the story – non Patriots fans love to hate them. Always tough when they win so much. With a bye week, it seems to be giving the national press and local sports talk radio something to stir up interest. There are no shortage of Patriots stories happening this week:
1. Wickersham “news”
2. Matt Patricia and Josh McDaniels interviews
3. Jimmy G in San Francisco lights it up to end the season
4. Tom Brady and Alex Guerrero relationship

One could almost forget that they are on a decent run towards their sixth NFL championship together since 2001. I would predict Belichick stays, Brady stays, and Kraft isn’t selling. Expect to see McDaniels and Patricia both picked up by other teams.

Patriots article from ESPN

The ESPN story indicating there was turmoil between the walls of Gillette stadium on the big 3 seems to have been picked up by all media outlets yesterday and today. You can’t go an hour without seeing it on TV or the front page of news websites. How much real national search interest is it really generating? Google Trends would indicate it is a minor blip (~15% of the volume) compared to a Sunday game.

google trends patriots

From a Twitter perspective, tweets around the Patriots have shown higher interest than a typical game day (per Trendsmap). You can see the last game day on the 31st below and Friday at noon, where more outlets picked up the story, as the peak over the last week.

patriots twitter trend

Daily volumes suggest a dramatic increase on 1/5 vs. the last game day on 12/31.

patriots tweet volume by day

Drilling into the volume it would appear that the real bulk of the activity surrounds the Patriots tweet on the joint statement by Belichick, Kraft, and Brady. It had 12,769 retweets and over 25k hearts. In comparison, Wickersham’s “news” self-promotion had only ~5k retweets and ~11k hearts.

patriots tweet statement

wickersham tweet

As expected, a lot of the conversation is concentrated in New England. This view from Trendsmap looks at the proportion of conversation happening in each state over the past week. The second and third views look at just yesterday. You can see the uptick in proportion and the greater concentration in New England.

patriots conversation percent

In the last day:

friday patriots conversation

So you decide! Will the Patriots dynasty break up now? Brady is playing at MVP level, so even a slight decline over the next 2 years gives ample time to find the next young QB for New England. The only way to keep Jimmy G was to trade Brady…and that is ridiculous.

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