Packers are the NFL’s most popular team


The Dallas Cowboys might call themselves “America’s Team,” but the Green Bay Packers are the NFL franchise deserving of that title.

So says Public Policy Polling, which recently determined that twice as many fans in the nation chose the Packers as their favorite team, from a list of nine.

The group surveyed 700 American voters from Dec. 16-18, and 22% of those polled said the Packers are their favorite team; followed by 11% for the Cowboys; 8% each for the Chicago Bears, New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers; 7% for the New Orleans Saints; 6% for the New England Patriots; 4% for the Washington Redskins; and 2% for the New York Jets.


Twenty-four percent of those polled said they root for some other team or are not sure. (Surely, lots of teams that weren’t included on the list of choices would quibble with those results.)

What’s more, 22% of those surveyed said Dallas is their least favorite team, followed by Chicago (11%), Green Bay (8%), New England (7%), Washington (7%), Pittsburgh (6%), New York Giants (4%), New York Jets (4%) and New Orleans (1%).

The polling company also ranked the most popular quarterbacks, according to the voters they surveyed.

The winner was Tim Tebow with 15% of the votes, followed by the Mannings (14% for Eli, 12% for Peyton), 10% each for Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, 6% for Michael Vick and 4% each for Ben Roethlisberger and Tony Romo.

Fighting words

As if Giants-Jets isn’t hyped enough, some players from both teams let loose with some salvos this week in advance of Saturday’s matchup.


Giants receiver Victor Cruz said that “teams aren’t really scared” of Jets All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis anymore and that “he’s got to earn his money this year. Teams aren’t really backing down. I feel like we’re going to do the same thing? Until he physically stops us, we’re going to throw the ball on him.”

Giants teammate Hakeem Nicks initially called Revis “decent,” then conceded the cornerback is “great” but that he would play him to a tie.

Those aren’t exactly harsh words, but enough to rub the Jets the wrong way.

Whereas Revis shrugged off the remarks, fellow corner Antonio Cromartie said of Cruz and Nicks: “You got guys that are not even Pro Bowl material? Who really cares what they have to say?”

Cromartie’s parting shot was aimed at Giants receiver Mario Manningham:

“He let a guy named Victor Cruz come in and take his job.”

Passing Panther

Move over, Peyton. Cam Newton is in the passing lane.

Newton, the first-year quarterback for the Panthers, needs 18 more yards passing Saturday against Tampa Bay to record the most by a rookie in NFL history. He has 3,722 yards; Indianapolis’ Peyton Manning set the mark with 3,739 in 1998.

Already, one passing record has been set. This is the first season in which two rookies have passed the 3,000-yard milestone. Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton has 3,012.


The rookie quarterbacks with the most yards passing in NFL history, according to the NFL (*through Week 15):

Player, Team / Year / Yards

Peyton Manning, Indianapolis / 1998 / 3,739

Cam Newton, Carolina / 2011 / *3,722

Sam Bradford, St. Louis / 2010 / 3,512

Matt Ryan, Atlanta / 2008 / 3,440

Andy Dalton, Cincinnati / 2011 / *3,012

Divided attention

If the Giants beat the Jets, Philadelphia’s game at Dallas will not have a bearing on the playoff picture. If the Jets win, however, the Cowboys can clinch the NFC East by beating the Eagles.

Cowboys Coach Jason Garrett said his team will play the same way no matter what happens in the Giants-Jets game.

But Jerry Jones, owner of the Cowboys, said he plans to do some close scoreboard watching.


“I’ll whisper in their ear for them,” Jones told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “But we’re all interested in how that game comes out, and that’s natural. I know our fans are, and we are, and of course it creates an interesting dynamic there for our last couple of games. I’m certainly looking with interest at that ball game.”

Mr. Automatic

Kansas City’s Mr. Irrelevant is on the verge of something very significant.

Kicker Ryan Succop has made 21 consecutive field-goal attempts, two shy of breaking the team record held by Pete Stoyanovich. In the Chiefs’ 19-14 upset of Green Bay last Sunday, Succop made four of four. He was the last player selected in the 2009 draft, earning him the title of Mr. Irrelevant.