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We are through three weeks of the 2018 NFL season, and our weekly FanPulse survey on fan confidence in the organization has taken a turn in an expected direction. The team placed Jimmy Garoppolo on injured reserve this week, and with the move, fan confidence has gone off a cliff. Following the 49ers win over the Detroit Lions, the confidence level was at 93 percent. Following the injury, it has dropped to 44 percent.
This is not the biggest drop in confidence. The Denver Broncos dropped 51 percent following their Week 3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, while the Minnesota Vikings dropped 57 percent after their stunning loss to the Buffalo Bills. I suspect last night’s loss to the Rams might result in a slight increase in fan confidence given how close the game was.
Looking at the rest of the NFC West, things were mostly settled this week. Prior to Thursday Night Football, the Los Angeles Rams dropped three points to 97 percent, the Seattle Seahawks increased six points to 51 percent, and the Arizona Cardinals increased two points to five percent.
I imagine the Rams get back to 100 percent after that wild win over the Vikings. It was a potential playoff preview, and the Rams held up even with several injuries to their defense. They are the clear favorite in the NFC West, and I would argue in the NFC as a whole. The playoffs can trip up anybody, but that offense is ridiculous, and if they get healthy enough on defense, they should be fine.
The 49ers now travel to face the Los Angeles Chargers. I don’t think we’ll see fan confidence drop too much further this season given the knowledge of the Jimmy G injury, but fans are going to tune out if the team is unable to put together some competitive games. Last season, C.J. Beathard did get the 49ers their first win of the season, but in his other four starts, they were beaten handily in three of them. We’ll see if the talent overhaul and Beathard’s extra time in the system offer any differences.