Not all NFL teams are as good on social media as they are on the field...and there are also a few who would love to be as good on the gridiron as they are on Twitter. Let's take a look at the six NFL teams with the largest Twitter following:
Statistics accurate as of 2/1/2015
6. Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks): 812k followers
The Seahawks are rising fast, and another Super Bowl run next season could see them move up even higher on this list. The Hawks timed their recent rise with a spike in Twitter's popularity, and it doesn't hurt that star CB Richard Sherman rarely goes more than a few weeks without trending nationally. Seattle is also one of the most plugged-in cities in the nation, and that combination lands them on our list with room to spare (the 7th-place Jets are trailing by almost 100k).
5. San Francisco 49ers (@49ers): 861k followers
Not a major surprise - the 49ers have a successful history, a passionate fanbase, and they're located in arguably the most tech-savvy metropolitan area in the country. They might not have beaten their rivals up north on the field this year, but they still have the edge on Twitter (we're willing to bet they'd trade social media savvy for a win over the Hawks, though).
4. Green Bay Packers (@packers): 891k followers
The Packers have one of the best records in the NFL since the average Twitter user was born, and that relevance has helped the fanbase grow by leaps and bounds during the social media era. The number of people following the team on Twitter is over 8x (!) larger than the actual population of Green Bay, Wisconsin (104,779 as of 2013)
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers): 898k followers
The Steelers actually play in one of the smallest cities to have their own NFL team (only Green Bay, Buffalo and Cincy have lower populations), but the fanbase extends far outside of western Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh is one of the NFL's most successful franchises with six Super Bowl wins, and they haven't ended a season under .500 since Twitter was launched in '06.
2. Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys): 1.14 million followers
We were pretty sure the Cowboys would be #1, but America's Team ended up in second place by a slim margin. The Cowboys would probably find themselves in first place if they made a Super Bowl run, but the last time they made it out of the divisional round (1996), Twitter was still 10 years away from being invented.
1. New England Patriots (@Patriots): 1.19 million followers
A bit of a surprise when you consider the size of their fanbase in relation to the Cowboys, but when you're a Super Bowl contender for nearly two decades without a break, you're gonna be pretty popular. New England missed the playoffs just four times since 1996 and made it to at least the divisional round in 11 of their last 14 seasons...and we all know America loves winners. Social media is no exception.
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