Google Trends shows a divided Super Bowl nation. Red States have higher interest in the Patriots, Blue States lean toward Rams. (Google Trends image)

If the Super Bowl were decided by web search, it would be another Patriots win

If Sunday’s Super Bowl needed a tie-breaker that could only solved by popularity in web search, the New England Patriots would win, based on data as of Saturday night.

That would be a stupid way to settle the NFL championship. Nonetheless, search interest in the Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams, as measured in Google Trends, offers an interesting perspective.

First, the Rams’ search interest is primarily western United States. One notable exception, Louisiana, may actually be opposition research by grouchy Saints fans. (Louisiana was second behind California in search intensity. More about that in a minute.)

The Patriots draw support, at least support of search traffic, from the Eastern U.S.

The non-contiguous states are split, Hawaii preferring the Rams, Alaska favoring Patriots in web search interest.

Here is a look at a map view of the data. This data, from Google Trends, is live and may vary from what the numbers were on Saturday night.

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Nationwide the past 7 days, Patriots had an average search intensity of 51 percent, compared to 42 percent for the Rams, as of Saturday night. Here is a chart that shows the current average:

In terms of search intensity by state, the top five states for each team were:
Rams: California (67 percent), Louisiana (58), Missouri (56), Idaho (56), Oregon (56).

Patriots: New Hampshire (85 percent), Massachusetts (84), Rhode Island (83), Maine (83), Vermont (76).

Six states were evenly split between the two teams: South Dakota, Wyoming, Illinois, Indiana, Alabama and Wisconsin. (Note that the Google Trends map assigns each of these states to either Rams or Patriots, but the percentage for both teams in the six states was 50 percent.

What does this mean about the Super Bowl? Nothing. The team with the most points at the end of the game will win.

The good folks at Google Trends have been busy crunching other things you have been searching about connected to football, including how tall is Tom Brady, and what is Julian Edelman’s diet. And my favorite: Where is the Super Bowl? (I’m told it is Atlanta.) 

Here is one last chart that shows popularity of individual NFL players in search, not all of them from the Super Bowl teams, Mr. Drew Brees.
There is a play button on this graphic. Click it, if you wish.

Note: When we harvested this data, the list, in order was: 

Tom Brady (Patriots, duh) 

Patrick Mahomes (Chiefs) 

Rob Gronkowski (Patriots) 

Drew Brees (Saints) 

Jared Goff (Rams)

Here’s another version, with just the Rams and Patriots players

More fun with numbers: Which football team is more popular on Twitter?

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