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NFL’s Most Emotional Games Throughout Opening Weekend

With football fans reeling after months of no entertainment, the start of the NFL season has been long-awaited. The NFL was one of the only leagues whose season was not affected by the pandemic, and is able to start this season with no delays, but not everything looks the same as past seasons. Some stadiums have allowed 25% fan capacity, while others are just playing the sounds of fans so the stadium doesn’t feel as empty! We decided to take a look at how many Emotional Reactions all the games were able to generate, which game was able to draw the biggest and most engaged audience, and which game in week 1 was the craziest.

Opening Weekend Draws Big Numbers

  • The opening weekend of NFL games was long-awaited by fans, and was able to drive an extremely passionate and engaged audience
    • Across all NFL games in the first weekend, there were 542K total Emotional Reactions and over 2M total Tweets, for a reaction rate of 26%
  • The games with the highest levels of Emotional Reactions over the first week were the Texans @ Chiefs (61K Emotional Reactions), the Buccaneers @ Saints (57K Emotional Reactions), and the Steelers @ Giants (57K Emotional Reactions)
  • Emotions were wide-ranging over opening weekend with many fans showing love for their own teams, and hate and dislike for their competitors
    • Testimonials:
      • Excited: “LJ!!!!!!! Forcing fumbles baby!!!! Let’s go!!!!! @i_Serve24
      • Crazy: “Finally braved myself to turn on the Bears game and HOLY SHIT!
      • Angry: “No one talk to me til the end of football season. Being a cowboys fan is too stressful

Game of the Week

  • The highest performing game of the week was the Houston Texans at the Kansas City Chiefs on NBC, featuring two of the best young, and the two highest-paid quarterbacks in the league in the first game of the season
    • The game drove 61K Emotional Reactions, and 239K total Tweets, for a reaction rate of 26%
  • Not only did the Kansas City Chiefs win the game, but they also were the highest driver of Emotional Reactions, accounting for 36% of all Emotional Reactions (the Houston Texans drove 17% of Emotional Reactions for the game)
    • Patrick Mahomes was also able to drive 8% of Emotional Reactions for the game, compared to Deshaun Watson who only drove 5% of Emotional Reactions
  • The game was also the second most exciting of opening week with 17% of Emotional Reactions showing ‘excited’
    • Testimonials
      • @JJWatt Almost time to play the Game!! Go Texans 🤘🏼🤘🏼
      • @Chiefs LETS GO CHIEFS!!! LET’S RUN IT BACK!!!
      • FOOTBALL IS HERE BABY!! LETS GO @Chiefs! REPEAT REPEAT REPEAT
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Craziest Game of the Week

  • The most exciting game this week was the Chicago Bears at the Detroit Lions, with the Bears making a massive comeback in the fourth quarter, and the Lions blowing a go-ahead touchdown pass in the final seconds of the game
    • The games second highest Emotional Reaction next to ‘love’ was ‘crazy’, accounting for 16% of all Emotional Reactions and double the average ‘crazy’ rates for all other games in opening week
      • Testimonials:
        • OMFG MITCH TRUBISKY IS A GOD
        • Swift blows the game with the drop wow! Detroit Lions trash
        • Wow Trubisky looked like a Hall of Famer on that TD throw
  • Excitement for the game started spiking in the closing minutes of regulation time, when the Bears started a series of exciting plays
    • At 3:05, the emotion ‘crazy’ spiked about the Bears picking off a pass from the Lions
    • The emotion ‘funny’ spiked at the end of the game when the Lions dropped a pass in the endzone which would’ve won the game for the Lions
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Takeaways

  • NFL’s opening weekend was able to drive massive engagement and emotion, with over 2M total Tweets and 542K Emotional Reactions
  • The game of the week was also the first game of the year, with over 60K Emotional Reactions, and two high performing quarterbacks
  • Despite other games earning higher levels of Emotional Reactions, the Bears at Lions game was the craziest due to a series of thrilling plays at the end of the game captured by our moments analyzer

Canvs, the leading emotion measurement technology company, connects consumer input to research insights with patented semantic AI technology to help companies deeply understand and empathize with their audiences

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