By Andrew Porter

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Patriots fans, Cowboys fans, Broncos fans, 49ers fans, and then Philadelphia Eagles fans.

Those are the five best NFL fan bases according to a recently study done by Michael Lewis of Emory University. Last year, Eagles fans were ranked 11th.

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Using 15 years of attendance data and four years of social media data, Lewis used “Dynamic Fan Equity” for his study. This is calculated using current fan equity (home box office revenues) and the trend in fan equity (willingness to engage) via social media.

“The Eagles are the big surprise on the list,” Lewis writes. “The Eagles are also a good example of how the analysis works. Most fan rankings are based on subjective judgments and lack controls for short-term winning rates. This latter point is a critical shortcoming.  It’s easy to be supportive of a winning team. While Eagles fans might not be happy they are supportive in the face of mediocrity. Last year the Eagles struggled on the field but fans still paid premium prices and filled the stadium.”

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Related: Eagles Fans Named NFL’s Most Hated Fan Base

With one of the NFL’s most polarizing figures in Chip Kelly entering his third-year as head coach and first-year with personnel control — after making a slew of controversial transactions to boot — the Eagles were among the most intriguing teams heading into 2015. And even though Kelly was eventually fired after a Week 16 loss to Washington, the Eagles controlled their destination in the NFC East until said loss, keeping fans engaged throughout the season.

According to the study, the Eagles averaged 69,483 fans with an average price of $98.69 and a filling capacity at 102.8-percent. Steelers fans, in comparison — whom ranked 18th on the list — filled Heinz Field 98.3-percent of the time, averaging 64,356 fans and an average ticket price of $84.

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