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New England Patriots
Title track: 11
Fan relations: 27
Stadium experience: 51
Bang for the buck: 22
Change from last year: +18
Brady. Belichick. Another Super Bowl title. Life is good in Patriots nation right now -- as long as you're not stuck in traffic on the way to the game.
The saying in New England is "In Bill We Trust," and that is once again reflected in Belichick's No. 3 ranking among coaches, the best in the NFL. He's been No. 1 or 2 in the NFL for each of the past five years, with last season's Super Bowl championship further solidifying his standing. The team's first Super Bowl trophy in 10 years also improved New England's title track to 11, from 17 last season, as it's easy for fans to support the team's personnel when they see quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski consistently taking over games (a strong No. 11 ranking for the roster).
The presence of Brady, Gronk & Co. make it easier to absorb the cost of attending a game, which is where the Patriots lag in our rankings. They rank 90th in affordability, with the league's most expensive average ticket at $122. (Rejoice, though, hot dog lovers: The Gillette Stadium dog is the NFL's cheapest at $3.75.) Sometimes simply getting to the game can be a drain (51st in stadium experience), as Gillette Stadium is located off Route 1, which has two lanes in each direction. Sitting in traffic both before and after games can yield the same frustration a reporter might experience trying to crack Belichick in a news conference.
The Patriots' unforgettable 2014 season saw them improve in the overall rankings, up 18 spots from last year. A plus-24 improvement in fan relations and plus-22 in bang for the buck -- which translates fan dollars to wins, something the Pats did often last year -- are two of the game-changers. Can the Patriots sustain the positive momentum this season? Well, no team has repeated as champion in a decade. The last team to do it? The 2004 Patriots.