Survey: Patriots Fans Rank New England’s Top 10 Rivals

Written By Connor Grootenhuis on August 30, 2023
Survey: New England Patriots fans rank rivals, playoff potential and what to get at Gillette Stadium, from

It is no secret that fans of the New England Patriots are some of the most passionate in all of sports.

To learn more about Patriots’ fandom, surveyed 1,000 Patriots fans in Massachusetts across a wide range of topics, including New England’s biggest rivals, the best places to eat and drink at Gillette Stadium, and more.

Fans say New York Jets are the Patriots’ biggest rival

Part of being an NFL fan is not only rooting for your team, but rooting against your rivals.

The team that Patriots fans love to hate the most is the New York Jets. In the survey, 15% of fans claimed that they consider the Jets to be the Patriots’ greatest rival.

The two teams first met in 1960 and have played each other 128 times. To the delight of New England fans, the Patriots lead the all-time series 73-54-1.

The Pats have had New York’s number as of late, having won the past 14 matchups between the two teams. This season, the teams will play in Week 3 on Sept. 24 on the Jets’ home turf and again in Week 18 on Jan. 7 at Gillette Stadium.

Here are the top 10 Patriots’ rivals according to 1,000 Patriots fans surveyed by PlayMA:

  1. Jets – 152 votes
  2. Eagles – 143 votes
  3. Cowboys – 143 votes
  4. Giants – 139 votes
  5. Steelers – 135 votes
  6. Bills – 90 votes
  7. Ravens – 70 votes
  8. Dolphins – 55 votes
  9. Colts – 49 votes
  10. Titans – 24 votes

NFC East rivalries

Following the Jets, two other teams have the scorn of Patriots fans: the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys. Each team received 143 votes in the survey.

The Patriots and Eagles have only played 15 times, but they have made for some memorable matchups. Specifically, the two teams have met in the Super Bowl twice.

In Super Bowl 39, the Patriots took down Donovan McNabb and company by a score of 24-21. However, the Eagles would get their revenge in Super Bowl 52 as the “Philly Special” play helped the Eagles take down Tom Brady and the Patriots. That memory is still fresh in the minds of a lot of New England fans.

The Patriots will welcome the Eagles to Foxborough for the season opener on Sunday, Sept. 10. If you plan to attend the game, check out PlayMA’s Gillette Stadium visitors’ guide

The Patriots and Cowboys don’t play each other often — as they have had just six meetings since 2000. But they have two of the most passionate fan bases. So when they do get together, it makes sense that the matchups have a rivalry-like feel.

Eli Manning haunts New England’s nightmares

Brady led the Patriots to six Super Bowl titles. As legendary as that is, there is one team he could not beat in the Super Bowl — the New York Giants.

Led by Eli Manning, the Giants defeated the Patriots in Super Bowls 42 and 46. The teams have met just twice since the Super Bowl in 2012, but many New England fans still hold disdain for the G-men.

In the survey, 139 fans said they consider New England’s biggest rival to be the Giants.

Best places to eat and drink at Gillette Stadium

Football and food. It just makes sense. Gillette Stadium offers 60 concession or restaurant/food service options. In the PlayMA survey, Patriots fans revealed their favorite game-day food picks.

Here are the top five food/drink options for Patriots fans on game day:

  1. Stadium Pizza – 365 votes

The food option taking the top spot at Gillette Stadium is Stadium Pizza. Primarily known for its personal pizzas, the menu includes hot dogs, veggie hot dogs, draft beer, hot and iced coffee, and hot chocolate. There are also nut-, dairy- and gluten-free options available.

Stadium Pizza can be found in Sections 103, 116, 126 and 139.

  1. Food Court – 336 votes

Food Court is most known for its burritos, hot dogs, and steak and cheese. The menu also features Italian sausages, footlong hot dogs and BBQ sandwiches.

It can be found in Sections 307, 312, 329 and 334.

  1. Tenders & Wings – 309 votes

If you are looking for all things chicken, look no further than Tenders & Wings. Here, you can find chicken tenders and chicken wings that are sure to impress. In addition, you can find mozzarella sticks, French fries, nachos and other snacks.

Tenders & Wings can be found in Sections 107, 117, 130 and 135.

  1. Backyard Barbeque – 215 votes

For all things BBQ, Backyard Barbeque is your place. The menu is loaded with BBQ-themed food options, such as street tacos, sandwiches, pulled pork sandwiches and beef brisket sandwiches.

Backyard Barbeque is located in Sections 112 and 140.

  1. Tailgate Grill – 207 votes

Tailgate Grill is where you can find all classic stadium food such as hamburgers, nachos and French fries. The menu includes grilled chicken sandwiches, vegan burgers, and steak and cheese subs.

Tailgate Grill has four locations at Gillette Stadium: Sections 115, 131, 316 and 338.

Nut- and dairy-free options are available only in Sections 115 and 131.

The next five top choices included Italian Sausage (154 votes), DraftKings Fantasy Sports Zone (153 votes), Ale House (145 votes), Sideline Favorites (107 votes) and The Local Street Kitchen (98 votes).

Fans hoping for a playoff run

After years of dominance, the Patriots have taken a bit of a step back since the departure of Brady after the 2020 season. That being said, a new season is almost upon us, and the Patriots are aiming to reclaim the top spot in the AFC East.

Patriots fans are hopeful, as 25% believe the Pats will make the Super Bowl.

(Yes, lofty goals, but they’re fans for a reason, right?)

In addition, 47% of fans are predicting a playoff berth, while 21% are at least expecting more wins than losses. That means just 8% of fans in our survey are not feeling optimistic about the season.

The season is almost here, and anything can happen.

A fan favorite: jerseys

As any NFL fan knows, part of supporting your team includes repping your team’s gear. There are many merchandise options but jerseys are one of the more popular ways to show team spirit.

In our survey, 60% of fans said they own at least one Patriots’ jersey. Furthermore, 18% said they own multiple Pats jerseys.

The Patriots have a storied history with a long list of exceptional players. That means Patriots fans have plenty of great jersey numbers to choose from:

  • Tom Brady — #12
  • Randy Moss — #81
  • Drew Bledsoe — #11
  • Rob Gronkowski — #87
  • Adam Vinatieri — #4
  • Stephen Gostowski — #3
  • Wes Welker — #83
  • Julian Edelman — #11

Other notable survey results

  • 31% of respondents identified as “a diehard fan,” while 69% selected “I follow them when convenient.”
  • 71% of respondents have never attended a Patriots training camp, while 13% have attended once, 10% have attended two to five times, 5% have attended five to 10 times, and 2% attend every year.
  • 31% of respondents drive themselves to Gillette Stadium for games, 27% get a ride with a friend, 14% use a ridesharing app, 8% take the train and 3% walk.

Survey demographics

  • 1,000 respondents
  • 56% identified as female and 44% identified as male
  • The ages broke down as follows:
    • 16-17 (0.3%)
    • 18-24 (18.6%)
    • 25-34 (26.6%)
    • 35-44 (27.3%)
    • 45-54 (14.4%)
    • 54+ (12.8%)
Connor Grootenhuis Avatar
Written by
Connor Grootenhuis

Connor Grootenhuis is the Managing Editor for PlayMA covering all things gambling and sports betting in Massachusetts. Based in the Bayou State of Louisiana, he is a lifelong sports fan who believes that every loss is a bad beat and every win is easy money.

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