The 7 Top-Selling NFL Jerseys in 2014

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Nothing captures the zeitgeist of an NFL season quite like jersey sales. It’s one of the best metrics we’ve found for measuring the intangibles that go along with being a fan. Even if you’re rooting for a team that’s got little hope of winning games in the near future, there’s a good chance that you’ve indulged yourself — or a family member, or a friend — with the gift of a jersey. There’s also the fact that the name on the back can indicate the hopes and dreams of a franchise.

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, then, that the seven NFL players who are at the top of this year’s list are the kind of guys who can shoulder the burden of being one of their team’s best players. As a result, many of them are quarterbacks. One of them is Luke Kuechly, but we’ll get to him in a minute. All data are courtesy of Dick’s Sporting Goods.

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7. Tom Brady, quarterback

We’re going to be honest here: The rough start that the New England Patriots got off to was hardly indicative of the team they’d turn into in the final stretch of the regular season. That is to say that we, like a lot of other people, wrote off Tom Brady and company. The Patriots promptly proved us all wrong, and Brady’s jersey is moving numbers once again (you’ll recall he wasn’t in the top 10 list of jerseys sold in September).

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6. LeSean McCoy, running back

LeSean McCoy is probably the coolest player on the Eagles right now, and a large portion of that comes from the fact that the team’s quarterback situation is so questionable — no one really knows if Nick Foles is the answer, and, c’mon, you don’t want a Mark Sanchez jersey yet. Shady McCoy? He’s one of the premiere running backs in the NFL.

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5. Russell Wilson, quarterback

We’re not totally convinced that Russell Wilson isn’t the result of two decades of social engineering to create the least offensive NFL personality ever, complete with the genetic tinkering that left him just under six feet tall. Completing his storybook underdog tale, Wilson was validated last season when the Seahawks won the Super Bowl.

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4. Luke Kuechly, linebacker

Now we come to Kuechly. In a moment of full disclosure, we have to note that we’re not particularly dedicated fans of the Carolina Panthers, so we were mildly mystified by Kuechly’s appeal to the fan base. To that end, we reached out and solicited the opinions of some of those fans. There were three reasons that stuck out. First, that he’s one of the (few) bright spots on the roster; second, that he’s attractive; and third, that it’s still fairly early in his career. We’re probably not qualified to judge the first two points, but we trust judgement of those who are.

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3. Johnny Manziel, quarterback

We’re going to assume that everyone who bought a Manziel jersey — he was No. 1 when we looked at the data the first time — was operating on the hype wagon. We were, too, even though we were able to resist the allure of a Browns jersey. Of course, with Manziel’s first start going as poorly as it did, we think we made the right call. Johnny Football is only fun if Johnny Football isn’t awful at the game.

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2. Andrew Luck, quarterback

Like Russell Wilson (but not as measured — no focus group product has as much of an epic mustache), Luck is the new Great Quarterback Hope for the Indianapolis Colts. And he’s a No. 1 draft pick. And he’s led the team to three consecutive playoff appearances, which isn’t too shabby for such a young player. All that, and he drools like one of J.RR Tolkien’s cave trolls. No one can resist the drool.

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1. Peyton Manning, quarterback

We’re hoping that Peyton Manning jerseys are being purchased in such mass quantities because his retirement could come at any moment, and so Denver fans are stockpiling them like rations in a Cold War fallout bunker. We really hope that’s the case. Admit it — you do, too.

For the full list of jersey data, click here. It’s sortable, we promise.