Fans Approve of QB Change by more than 4-1 But Don't Think Bills Make Playoffs
Sabres Slightly More Popular Than Bills, NFL More Unpopular than NHL in Buffalo
47% of Fans Watching Less NFL Football After the National Anthem Protests
(Buffalo, NY) - This week's decision by the Buffalo Bills front office to bench Tyrod Taylor and replace him with backup quarterback Nathan Peterman is already a touchdown, at least according to Buffalo Bills Fans.
In a new survey of the Buffalo media market, respondents overwhelmingly approve of the QB change, by a 53%-13% margin.
"One Bills Drive made a bold, surprising move this week, and fans approve of it by overwhelming numbers," said Christopher Grant, CEO of Big Dog Strategies, who commissioned the poll.
"As we know in Buffalo, how long this support holds depends on the performance on the field. But right now, Coach Sean McDermott and the front office have the benefit of the doubt, at least as far as fans are concerned," said Grant.
The survey was conducted November 16, 2017, the day after the decision was announced. 1,713 likely 2018 General Election voters participated in the survey, which was weighted to match demographics for the 2018 General Election. The margin of error is +/- 2.36%.
The survey also tested attitudes towards the two biggest professional sports leagues in the region. Surprisingly, the National Hockey League is vastly more popular, (53% Favorable/12% Unfavorable) than the National Football League (31% Favorable/44% Unfavorable).
When asked if they are watching more or less NFL games after the protests, nearly twice as many said they are watching fewer NFL games after the national anthem protests. 47% said they are watching less NFL games, 27% said they are watching more, and 26% said the protests have made no difference.
Despite the souring attitudes on the NFL, Buffalo fans still love their local Bills & Sabres teams. 53% of respondents have a favorable opinion of the Bills, while 28% have an unfavorable opinion. The Sabres were more popular in the region overall, with 55% of respondents having a favorable opinion, while only 12% had an unfavorable view of the team.
Alas, Buffalo fans are not hopeful for the playoffs for either team this year. Only 20% fans think the Bills will make the playoffs. Even worse, only 12% think the Sabres will be playing in the post-season.