Practically every NFL franchise has thousands of manic fans. In fact, due to the enduring popularity of "America's Game," some franchises (like the Raiders) have changed cities on multiple occasions. But they still retain a sense of historical significance and boast huge fanbases, both in the United States and across the globe.
But which of the 32 NFL franchises can currently claim to be the most popular in the world?
To answer this question, one must look at each NFL team's respective social media accounts. After all, if it's popular on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, then it's popular in real life.
Let's take a look at which NFL teams make up the five most popular in the world, according to social media.
5) Seattle Seahawks
- 2020 Facebook likes: 3,917,000
- 2020 Twitter followers: 2,323,000
- 2020 Instagram followers: 2,300,000
All the talk in Seattle may be centered around the future of QB Russell Wilson, but one conversation the Seahawks' executives won't need to have is how to improve the team's popularity at home and abroad.
The Seahawks came into prominence on the global stage during the "Legion of Boom" era. This period between 2011-2018 saw the franchise net its first and only Super Bowl victory in 2014. Football fans around the world seemed to respond well to the physical style that defensive stalwarts Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, and Kam Chancellor made famous.
The Seahawks' defense changed the game of football, as many NFL teams tried to model Seattle's approach.
Of course, Russell Wilson was the QB for that solitary Super Bowl win, so the Seahawks' global fanbase is curious to know whether he'll stay with the team. For NFL fans, it's easy to be fickle, so coach Pete Carroll should have a plan in place if Wilson's future takes him elsewhere.
4) Green Bay Packers
- 2020 Facebook likes: 5,303,000
- 2020 Twitter followers: 2,211,000
- 2020 Instagram followers: 1,800,000
The Green Bay Packers are one of the most prestigious franchises in the history of the NFL. The organization has won four Super Bowl titles (1966, 1967, 1996, 2010), and this success has helped the Packers assemble fans of all ages from all over the world.
2020 NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers and the league's best wide receiver, Davante Adams will back at the helm again for the 2021 season. As a result, it's unlikely the Packers will see much of a drop-off in terms of global fan support. Still, head coach Matt LaFleur has some work to do in order to help Rodgers win his second Super Bowl ring.
Teams can't ride on history forever, and Rodgers needs a solid seconary option in the passing game. Regardless, the Packers are set up for another successful season in the 2021 NFL season.
3) Pittsburgh Steelers
- 2020 Facebook likes: 6,333,000
- 2020 Twitter followers: 3,329,000
- 2020 Instagram followers: 2,300,000
The Pittsburgh Steelers became an renowned NFL franchise during the late 1970s and early 1980s, the era in which Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw operated under center. With Bradshaw as a signal-caller, the Steelers won the Super Bowl four times, so even outside of Pittsburgh, they're everyone's grandfather's favorite team.
Several decades later, the Steelers are still a leading team in the AFC. At one point during the 2020 season, the Steelers were sitting pretty atop entire NFL with an 11-0 record. But injuries and a loss of their exemplary form caused the team to finish 12-4, and the Steelers eventually were eliminated from the playoffs in a shocking loss to the Browns.
Head coach Mike Tomlin will be hoping to add a running game to his offense ahead of the 2021 season. Pittsburgh relied on its passing game far too much in 2020, and this lack of balance was their downfall.
The Steelers also have a lot of talented players who are set to enter free agency the offseason, so the team has to make sure its premier talents are replaced well during the offseason. Otherwise, the Steelers could suffer a drastic decline and plummet to the bottom of the NFL.
Like the Packers, you can't ride on history forever, so the Steelers need to make some changes before it's too late.
2) New England Patriots
- 2020 Facebook likes: 7,035,000
- 2020 Twitter followers: 4,279,000
- 2020 Instagram followers: 4,100,000
Two excellent decades with Tom Brady at the helm led the Patriots to six Super Bowl wins. One might be surprised that the Patriots aren't ranked higher on this list. After all, the Patriots were practically synonymous with the NFL throughout Brady's run with the time.
Like the Packers and Steelers, head coach Bill Belichick's Patriots are facing a crucial offseason. New England's future successes both on and off the field hinge on the next few months. The fans who call Gilette Stadium home might not be so willing to pay for pricey tickets if the Patriots fail to replace Brady and/or continue to lag behind in the AFC East.
1) The Dallas Cowboys are the NFL's most popular team on social media
- 2020 Facebook likes: 8,558,000
- 2020 Twitter followers: 3,731,000
- 2020 Instagram followers: 3,200,000
The Cowboys are the fortunate NFL franchise that just so happened to boom at the right time. Networks broadcast QB Roger Staubach and the team into the homes of millions of viewers across the world when color television was still a new concept. With Staubach under center, Dallas claimed two Super Bowl wins during the 1970s, so America's Team was born.
Plus, the Cowboys dynasty in the 1990s, a period in which Dallas won three Super Bowls in four years, cemented the team's status as a global franchise.
The Cowboys' cheerleading squad is immensely popular, and the fact that Dallas has more victories on Monday Night Football (41) than any other NFL team makes it easy to see why the Cowboys are still the world's most popular football team.