Ratings way down for NFL opener

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The NFL’s opening Thursday night game got disappointing TV ratings for a league that is battling perceptions of rapidly declining popularity.

NBC announced a 13.4 overnight rating for the Super Bowl champion Eagles’ last-second win over the Falcons. That was way down from the 14.6 for Chiefs-Patriots last year, which itself was way down from a 16.5 for Panthers-Broncos the year before, which itself was way down from a 17.7 for Steelers-Patriots the year before that.

Are there extenuating circumstances? Sure. Kickoff was delayed by almost an hour because of thunderstorms in Philadelphia, and the game was a sloppy, penalty-filled mess.

But there are only so many times that the NFL can spin its ratings decline as being the result of extenuating circumstances. Whatever the reasons, the league’s television ratings are not the juggernaut they once were. The NFL still gets national television ratings that any other sport (or, for that matter, any entertainment program) would kill for, but it no longer gets the kinds of television ratings it got a few years back.

320 responses to “Ratings way down for NFL opener

  1. I didn’t watch. Thanks to Goodell’s corruption and destruction of the game I don’t watch any but Pats games and playoffs. Its been 3 years since I watched any regular season game but the Pats. If they keep wrecking and softening the game the league will lose me entirely.

  2. Another yawner watching Matt Ryan choke. Starting the season on a Thursday was a typical NFL stupid idea.

  3. If I didn’t play fantasy football, I would not have watched the game last night. That game was terrible in so many ways.

  4. Did you expect anything less? Between the new helmet rule, to flags being thrown every other play, it was a given, and it’s only going to get worse. Then on top of it, it’s the Eagles and their fans. Nobody outside of that cesspool of a town cares about the eagles.

  5. The NFL product has become almost unwatchable. The main reason is the number of flags. The second reason in the inconsistency of the flags. The number of ‘judgment’ rules keeps increasing. With that, the number of flags seems to be increasing. It is obnoxious.
    Also, the NFL still doesn’t know what a catch is… neither do I, apparently. Seeing how over 50% of the offensive plays are designed to have someone catch a football, this needs to be completely unambiguous. Another reason it is becoming unwatchable is that the action on the field seems to be the 3rd or 4th priority. Advertisements, celebrity commentators, fancy graphics & effects, etc, all seem to be the focus of the TV event.

    Here is a thought on improving the penalty aspect of the game. Instead of stopping the game for the referee to stand in front of the camera and dramatically announce the details (which slows the game speed), why not simply have the information scroll across the screen for whoever is interested? It should be easy to implement. They already use hand signals, which coaches and players understand immediately. The referee could live mic to someone in the broadcast booth who could scroll the information for the audience. The flow of the game would not be interrupted. Perhaps more importantly, it would reduce the ego-effect for refs that like to see themselves on TV.

  6. Uh oh, golden goose may be in trouble here. The rating don’t lie, and I don’t think it’s because of the storm. If Richard Sherman is right, and they strike when the CBA expires, that may take the ratings down another several notches when the NFL does eventually resume. The players should be careful…..

  7. it was a horrific game. How was Foles the SB MVP? How did Matt Ryan make the SB the year before? Some questions just can’t be answered.

  8. I wonder what it could be? Come on say it. I know your media mafia overlords will punish you because it goes against the narrative. Growing numbers are tired of the circus of protest, which is easy and takes no effort. How about doing something positive and proactive instead of whining and hijacking the attention but doing nothing about it.

  9. Are ratings captured for people that use Youtube TV or playstation VUE? I know a lot of people like myself that don’t get tv through the cable company anymore, just high speed internet. There are way better, cheaper means to get tv now? In any case im not sure how all of that works. It would make a lot of sense if that is a reason for the huge dent in the ratings

  10. Hard to believe a season opener could be so bad that an impartial viewer started looking for something else to watch before halftime.

  11. part of it is the MAGA yahoos boycotting, but part of it is that fewer young people are playing, and more competition from soccer and other forms of entertainment. And the weather delay…

  12. Note to the Morons. The decline began before the protest. And I’m not referring to the protesting of the flag and veterans, because THAT ISN’T WHAT THEY ARE PROTESTING.

  13. I turned it off once I knew Goodell was cheating so brazenly. 28 flags?

    Why is it that Julio JOnes’s clear catch is called incomplete and Corey Clement’s clear incompletion in the SB is called a TD for pHilly?

    The cheating is unbelievable.

    Ratings to tumble a 3rd straight year. This is one big reaosn why ,if not the main reason.

    Goodell is a cheater and simply wanted the home, SB winning team to win last night, so he gives the refs “instructions” before the game. Been going on for years.

  14. Watching POTUS have his meltdown was so much more entertaining…..now with the date of games come Sunday…take a recount.

  15. Honestly didn’t know they were starting the season last night. Because nothing says exciting like Thursday night?

  16. It was a pretty horrible game through and through. 6-3 at halftime with two supposedly high powered offenses? Turned it off at that point and I see I missed nothing.

  17. As a lifeling Nawlins Who Dat of course it’s always sweet to see the Falcons lose in heartbreaking fashion, but if everyone watching can see that Julio Jones caught that deep ball, it’s a baaad look for the league that it wasn’t reversed.

  18. harrisonhits2 says:
    September 7, 2018 at 10:06 am
    I didn’t watch. Thanks to Goodell’s corruption and destruction of the game I don’t watch any but Pats games and playoffs. Its been 3 years since I watched any regular season game but the Pats. If they keep wrecking and softening the game the league will lose me entirely.

    29 17 Rate This

    —————

    I gave it a shot, but shut it down at halftime and watched Netflix instead. I just can’t take the obvious attempt to manipukate the game with the greay area rules and outright cheating, insulting my intelligence as an educated fan of over 35 years.

    I just can’t believe any real fan would approve of Goodell at this point.

  19. You can blame protests or whatever sure that has something to do with it. I’m sure there are a select few who don’t watch because of that. The bigger issue is the general lack of flow to the game. You can’t get excited about anything that happens because you are just waiting for a penalty to take it all back.

  20. The delay sucked and the quality of play sucked. Play the starters in the 3rd preseason game like everyone used to before everyone cried about injuries. Injuries happen in practice as well.

    I know people will spin this to fit their agenda but TV viewing is down across the board. NASCAR viewership, the most extreme example, is down 30% from 2016.

    TV viewership in general is declining but the NFL has maintained the same percentage of the pie it always had, it’s just the pie is now smaller.

  21. I tried to watch it….I like watching as many football games as I can….but by the end of the 1st half I had had enough. It was about as boring as boring can be. Maybe some will say it was great defense, but to me it looked more like poor offensive execution at the most critical times.

    I have better uses for my time than watching games like that one.

  22. I’d love to see how it stacks up vs. other TV shows. Fewer people consume their programming via broadcast TV – they stream it, or the casual fan just checks in online.

  23. Harrrisonhits- yea right…you just read AND post on PFT.
    Ire: fan loss: I personally know 8 guys that had season tickets last year who quit the NFL over ‘the knee’ issue. I swore they’d come back because we all went to games for 20 years religiously…but they didn’t and I’m in contact with all of them and they don’t even watch it either. The knee issue will have long and lasting effects because all of them and their kids won’t ever watch…and I know they aren’t the only 8.
    As a teacher I asked my students yesterday if they were going to watch the game…out of 6 classes of 32 there was 1 kid who said yes. The nfl is in a free fall I never thought would happen. This rating drop is only the first of many to come in the days, weeks and years ahead.

  24. On 4th down with only seconds to go Ryan throws an uncatchable ball through the end zone. He gets a second chance with one second to go when a penalty is called and throws a pass out of bounds. Both attempts gave Atlanta no chance to win. Guess he was worried about getting intercepted. You could see it in his eyes, just like the super bowl against the Pats. He’s good for a while but chokes when it counts. Lousy game.

  25. There is no way anyone should have any confidence in the Atlanta falcons after last night.

    They may hang around but they are not going anywhere. Coaching and Matt Ryan are at fault.

  26. I finally threw in the towel on the NFL. I didn’t watch and won’t watch anymore. I’m not even involved in fantasy football anymore, which is a shock, considering how obsessed I was with it. Roger Goodell wore me out. Just wore me out. And, no, it doesn’t have anything to do with player protests. It has a lot more to do with the continuing realization that Goodell quashed a report on concussions. It also has to do with the constant rule changes. It has to do with a lot of other things, but there’s not enough space to write all of this. I hate the NFL now and I’m finished and I’m a much happier person without it. Roger Goodell ruined the NFL.

  27. @ARod(in his collarbone)

    A troll like you criticizing another teams fan base. That’s priceless.

    I guess you’re still hurting from the beat down in the NFCCG

  28. Keeping politics out of football may just have the adverse affect! Ratings may go up when I can enjoy my favorite team, without political statements being made. It’s just my preference!

  29. You want change? Eliminate the over-officiating.

    Teach the refs to understand when to throw the flag on an egregious, in-plain-sight foul, and when not to throw the flag.

    Please, NFL front office…let the players play and the refs pick their nose. Get ’em some glasses, too.

  30. Steelers v Patriots is a much better draw than Falcons v Eagles.

    If the game was Steelers/ Patriots is probably would have been 16

  31. Bingo, i only watch Raven’s games now.

    harrisonhits2 says:
    September 7, 2018 at 10:06 am
    I didn’t watch. Thanks to Goodell’s corruption and destruction of the game I don’t watch any but Pats games and playoffs. Its been 3 years since I watched any regular season game but the Pats. If they keep wrecking and softening the game the league will lose me entirely.

  32. More people are cutting cable or the dish, and since NFL Sunday Ticket isn’t sold most instances outside of DirectTV, people are just easily watching the game for free online from less than legal websites. It’s not rocket science…

  33. Lots of cord cutters like myself had no real avenue to watch the game since over the air is unreliable at my house. They need to think bigger and actually make the games accessible over NFL.com or some other streaming service if they want to get ratings back up because I am too old to be going to a bar for games and am not signing up for the ridiculous cable / dish / directv packages.

  34. Season started how it ended. A Philly special (likely with the same illegal formation not called) and refs not knowing what a catch is (handing the game to the Eagles)

  35. The accumulation affect of massive inclusive penalties, a lame commissioner, social justice protests on the league ( and fans ) time, and the fractured relationship between the league and its viewers in general all lead to lower viewership numbers than in previous seasons. As television comes into the new era of Netflix, Hulu, etc and viewers have the opportunity to chose something other than the political fiasco that the modern “shield” has become, numbers will naturally get lower over time. Many fans ( myself included ) only follow their own NFL team, and prefer the college game to the constant controversy that the NFL is in the current iteration.

  36. ARod(in his collarbone) says:
    September 7, 2018 at 10:08 am
    Did you expect anything less? Between the new helmet rule, to flags being thrown every other play, it was a given, and it’s only going to get worse. Then on top of it, it’s the Eagles and their fans. Nobody outside of that cesspool of a town cares about the eagles.

    Now, is that any way to talk about the undefeated World Champion Philadelphia Eagles? You almost hurt our feelings, except “NO ONE LIKES US, WE DON’T CARE”

    That is all…

  37. when people pvr the game then start it later to be able to fast forward commercials, do they get represented in the ratings? i know a lot of people that do that for primetime games. the commercial breaks are so unbearable

  38. tonyzendejas says:
    September 7, 2018 at 10:06 am
    There was a really good Seinfeld rerun on last night, that’s probably why.

    —–

    my two favorites:

    ‘The Rye’ – tossing that rye bread loaf up to George has me in tears laughing every time. seems like something that happened during my college days

    ‘The Chinese Restaurant’ – Cartwright? Cartwright?

  39. Thursday night games have never done well…….lets see how Sunday nights game does before we bury the NFL…

  40. It felt like it was a late game. And I wonder if viewership dropped off. As it went on. It was kinda boring.

  41. Terrible game, terrible time slot (No one is interested in watching Football on a Thursday), greedy league who vastly overcharges on merchandise, tickets, TV packages, annoying commentators, little action, too many commercials and whistles…just a boring sport to be honest. The league needs a wake up call

  42. A game totally devoid of national interest, without star power, plagued by a blizzard of penalties, played poorly, interrupted by an electrical storm – this is the NFL showcase? It was another testament to the idiotic arrogance of the NFL League office. Now they need to spin it or the bloated NFL bureaucracy will be held up to national ridicule – as they should be. They have tampered far too many times with the game, blundered with their “discipline” and alienated the fans and sponsors. Now they face negotiations with a clearly adversarial union in a politically charged environment that will lead to a lost season. Goodell will go down as the commissioner that killed the game.

  43. There’s a whole lot of factors affecting the waning popularity.

    I can tell you, the rule changes don’t help. I’m an Eagles fan, but even I was rolling my eyes at the “roughing the passer” flags on both sides. So, when you sack the QB now, you aren’t allowed to land on him with your body weight?

    I get that the league is trying to keep their premier players on the field, but the “flavor” of the game is being affected. Most fans appreciate the physicality of the game. You can’t punish receivers going over the middle. You can’t land on the QB. You have to contort your body to miss the QB if he releases the ball just prior to you arriving. NO ONE knows, even while watching a replay, if a catch is a catch. All of that disrupts the flow of the game.

  44. I tuned in to see the “green zone” in action – you know, for when you want to give your brain a rest and keeping track of all the white and yellow stripes gets to be too much effort.

  45. Diehard fan who watches every game I can. I don’t like guys kneeling but that has ZERO to do with turning off, that’s not the product. The problem to me is the product STINKS. The penalties are destroying football. Too many rules in a contact sport. CB brushes up against a receiver and it’s a flag. Has zero impact on the play but the refs are calling it by the book (which stinks). And the Jarrett penalty on Foles? That was enraging and was the straw that broke my back. I’ll be watching Sunday and not like I won’t not be a fan anymore, but I can feel the game slipping away and it’s frankly sad.

  46. Context is key here. Any other sport would murder for these ratings. This is still 2-3 million more people than watched any NBA Finals game last year. The NFL will be fine. I know the ratings have steadily declined, but so have the ratings for almost any live broadcast (from sports to The Oscars). Millennials don’t have cable. Will the NFL ever get back to the peak of 5-10 years ago? NO. Will they still generate billions of dollars every year? Yes.

  47. birdsfan1215 says:
    September 7, 2018 at 10:25 am

    ARod(in his collarbone) says:
    September 7, 2018 at 10:08 am

    Did you expect anything less? Between the new helmet rule, to flags being thrown every other play, it was a given, and it’s only going to get worse. Then on top of it, it’s the Eagles and their fans. Nobody outside of that cesspool of a town cares about the eagles.

    Now, is that any way to talk about the undefeated World Champion Philadelphia Eagles? You almost hurt our feelings, except “NO ONE LIKES US, WE DON’T CARE”

    ÷÷÷÷÷÷÷÷

    You obviously do care, otherwise you would not have responded to Arod’s comment. However, you are right that no one likes Philly fans.

  48. Shame. A ton of fans missed out on referee discussions.

    It’s the frickin Eagles. Super Bowl champs and their stupid fans are booing in the first quarter. Their idiocy doesn’t help.

  49. The game was borderline unwatchable. You could tell players were apprehensive to lay a good solid tackle. That roughing the passer call on Atl. Was awful (although by the new rule called correctly). 16 weeks of this will simply free up my Sundays for better things.

  50. In addition to all of the good aforementioned reasons why, it was also a really ugly game to look at or have interest in: the Eagles and Falcons have 2 of the worst uniforms in football, and no mainstream stars to attract viewers.

    Sorry, but Nick Foles vs Matt Ryan is not what I’ll put off doing laundry to watch…especially in their dark, drab, dated looks.

    I know the SB champ always gets the home opener, but there were better matchups they could’ve put on last night. With the Browns on Hard Knocks, along with Baker Mayfield as the #1 overall pick and Todd Haley now with Cleveland…why not open with the Browns & Steelers?

    At least they got it right with the Rams vs Raiders for MNF. The Return of Chucky is a primetime event, and so are the LA Rams this season (this is coming from a Chiefs fan).

  51. Between the watered-down, often arbitrary rules, the yellow flags constantly littering the field, the kneeling, protesting, pampered players, etc…it’s a wonder anyone watches at all anymore?!

    I pretty much only watch the Steelers and the playoff games anymore myself, and only rarely tune in to another game, and then only if it’s a prime matchup.

  52. The NFL has a serious issue with producing very bad football for the first two weeks of the season. Teams clearly do not spend the necessary time preparing. Last night featured two very good football teams who served up crap.

  53. People are going to blame the anthem issue in a lot of these comments, and maybe that is a very, very small part of it. However, the biggest reason people aren’t watching is because the quality of play is drastically falling off more and more, especially early in the season. Who wants to be tired at work the next morning to watch Nick Foles throw for 115 yards?

    Those were two unprepared and sloppy teams playing in front of a crowd that probably paid at least $250 a ticket to see a total clown show. I went to a local high school game last Friday that was more entertaining. It’s a sad state of affairs right now.

    “Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered…”

  54. There are multiple reasons for the drop in ratings, and very little of it has anything to do with that nitwit in the West Wing. Alternative ways to watch, poor quality of play, and just the nature of people moving away from watching live sports on TV and doing other things in their lives. Those all are greater reasons for lower ratings than anything that nimrod said about something, in which he truly doesn’t even care about, but knows his base will get all riled up about it.

  55. harrisonhits2 says:

    September 7, 2018 at 10:06 am

    I didn’t watch. Thanks to Goodell’s corruption and destruction of the game I don’t watch any but Pats games and playoffs. Its been 3 years since I watched any regular season game but the Pats. If they keep wrecking and softening the game the league will lose me entirely.
    _______________________________________________
    That’s basically where I am, I’ll watch the Bears games that are on locally but other than that it’s hard for me to watch two random teams I don’t root for play. In years past I’d be watching all day but it’s just lost it’s appeal

  56. Best consumer economy in 50 years and Goodell still found a new way to lose money. But that’s socialism for you.

  57. Think of all the terrible decisions and lack of action and leadership that has led to all this and yet Goodell was given a huge pay raise and vote of confidence.

    The owners have no one to blame but themselves.

  58. .
    Many people hate the Patriots with the power of a million suns. However, win or lose they have always put a great show for the rest of the country. Last night’s game was an abomination. Death row inmates should be forced to watch as part of their punishment.
    .

  59. With all the options now available ratings for all network programming continues to decline each successive year. This isn’t just an NFL problem . The key item here is the NFL’s ratings are still better then any other pro sport or regular programming . Look no further then the deal Fox made the NFL for the Thursday night games in January , $3 billion an increase of $15 mil per year from the previous deal as proof the NFL is still coveted by the networks.

  60. Fanboys, Goodell didn’t destroy this game, the Owners did. Roger is merely the Owners puppet. Greed, greed, greed. The Golden Goose is dead.

  61. Have any of you sub-intelligent fans even been to Phiily? Otherwise characterizing it as a “cesspool” is pure ignorance.

  62. We all know the reason: chord cutting and the perception that the NFL is unpatriotic. If you haven’t met someone who has quit watching pro football because of the anthem protests than you’re either lying or live in the most socialist of bubble areas on the coast. But, the Midwest, West and particularly the South were the keys to the NFL’s popularity. Harris polls prove it. Northeastern people like baseball more than football. The other 3 areas were football country all of the way and they are also the areas where the NFL’s popularity is beginning to slide. And, people under 30 lack testosterone and prefer video games and nerd crap to football.

  63. franfoley says:
    September 7, 2018 at 10:36 am
    Collingsworth. Plain and simple – no better way to make a fan lose interest.
    ___________________________________________________________

    Collinsworth has ZERO bearing on TV Ratings

  64. I’m happy to hear this and I’m still happy for Kaep. Bring them to their knees and expose their fake patriotism.

  65. I finally threw in the towel on the NFL. I didn’t watch and won’t watch anymore. I’m not even involved in fantasy football anymore, which is a shock, considering how obsessed I was with it. Roger Goodell wore me out. Just wore me out. And, no, it doesn’t have anything to do with player protests. It has a lot more to do with the continuing realization that Goodell quashed a report on concussions. It also has to do with the constant rule changes. It has to do with a lot of other things, but there’s not enough space to write all of this. I hate the NFL now and I’m finished and I’m a much happier person without it. Roger Goodell ruined the NFL..

  66. luvusa1 says:
    September 7, 2018 at 10:41 am
    Have any of you sub-intelligent fans even been to Phiily? Otherwise characterizing it as a “cesspool” is pure ignorance.
    _________________________________________________

    I’m in Philly for business often, its not a very nice place… Lets not pretend otherwise.

  67. Have found myself over the past few years watching less and less of the NFL. I only watch complete games if my team is playing. I’ll see a bit here and there, check in on the score and whatnot. I didn’t see an entire quarter of any Thursday or Monday night game last season that didn’t involve my team.. Find myself preferring college football much more. It has NOTHING to do with kneeling, it’s just not that entertaining.

  68. weepingjebus says:
    September 7, 2018 at 10:37 am
    Best consumer economy in 50 years and Goodell still found a new way to lose money. But that’s socialism for you.
    ____________________________________________

    Actually the NFL increased their profits last year 4.9%…

    So they havent lost money, but they did lose ratings.

  69. mlhigh says:
    September 7, 2018 at 10:40 am
    Fanboys, Goodell didn’t destroy this game, the Owners did. Roger is merely the Owners puppet. Greed, greed, greed. The Golden Goose is dead.
    _____________________________________________________

    13.9 Million viewers last night.. Saying the game is dead is laughable… Any other league would kill for those ratings.

  70. weepingjebus says:
    September 7, 2018 at 10:37 am
    Best consumer economy in 50 years and Goodell still found a new way to lose money. But that’s socialism for you.

    1 3 Rate This

    you wouldn’t know what socialism was if it hit you over your head with a 2×4. And the NFL isn’t losing money.

  71. If you’re like me you were excited early Thursday that the NFL was starting up again..then you had a HUGE LETDOWN when you saw and heard the same old Al Michaels and Collingsworth blabbing on and on about another insufferable, commercial drenched borefest of a game.

  72. The excessive penalties have ultimately made the game less interesting and bums me out. I ended up turning it off and watching Wolf Cop. You know what doesn’t bum me out? Wolf Cop.

  73. If you don’t want to watch the game anymore, why take so much time to comment on exactly that all over an NFL message board? I suppose some people like to hear themselves type as much as they like to hear themselves talk.

  74. No interest in watching either team, especially the woefully overrated Falcons. That was a dumb matchup. They could have had the Eagles face an NFC East team, the Vikings, or the Steelers and had a far more interesting game.

  75. Breaking news from the league office….

    “…in order to address our failing ratings, we will eliminate tackling and have the players wear flags. Also, Colin Kaepernick will now by head of our PR …”

    That’s about how Goodell rolls.

  76. Let’s see…

    Waaaay too many flags.
    BORING football.
    Commercials, commercials, commercials.

    Yep, that will do it.

  77. how long are we going to keep beating this dead horse. A better exercise would be to A,c compare its ratings to other program in context, and B, to see if any other programming is taking the ratings away when these numbers decline as opposed to people just watching less TV in tradition ways, which seems to be what’s happening. Because I think we all got a definitive answer on what clout the NFL still has as far as advertising revenue when they fetched half a billion for those awful Thursday games.

  78. Started to watch, fell asleep, I have to get up and work Friday morning like everyone else here. If you must have Thursday night, Sunday night and Monday night football then start them earlier. If the game is boring everyone will shut it off..

  79. Used to watch every Thurs/at least 2 on Sunday/always Monday
    My interest started declining with the way the “gate’s” were handled. They fabricated headlines and tried to spin things instead of actually attempting to figure out what happened/resolve it. (Bounty/Spy/Deflate/Ray Rice-gate)
    Product is now turning into garbage and the games officiating stinks of Park Ave deciding results.
    Now I’ll watch my favorite team and possibly the “best” match up of the week.

  80. Thursday night football is a huge failure that NFL refuses to concede. Football players would rather be politicians than athletes and they all make more money in a few months than ill see in my entire life. The NFL is full of people like Leveon Bell. They don’t give a crap about football, its just a means to an end for them. Cuban was right….an over-saturated market.

  81. steelerdeathstar says:
    September 7, 2018 at 10:34 am
    Between the watered-down, often arbitrary rules, the yellow flags constantly littering the field, the kneeling, protesting, pampered players, etc…it’s a wonder anyone watches at all anymore?!
    I pretty much only watch the Steelers and the playoff games anymore myself, and only rarely tune in to another game, and then only if it’s a prime matchup.
    _______________________
    Many fans are doing the same as you—-highly underrated

    _______________

  82. I will never buy another Nike product and I have used their shoes for a long time.
    The NFL is doomed by its own players who have the modern disease of both a sense of entitlement and a belief in being victims while they make millions which leaves them infinitely unlikable.

  83. The refs were terrible, the green zone is a dumb idea and just makes the playing surface look more depressing, they still don’t know what a catch is, and you are no longer able to sack the QB but you can get in their face like an NBA defender. The game is circling the drain.

  84. ill42 says:
    September 7, 2018 at 10:32 am
    Context is key here. Any other sport would murder for these ratings.
    _____________________________________________________________________
    The NBA is thriving, and their players are more popular worldwide. And its not close. The NFL’s big advantage? No multi-game series play. With win or go home, the small supply drives up huge demand.Oh and the Golden St Warriors and Cavs finals that everyone is supposedly so tired of? Up 40% from last year alone. Context indeed….

  85. Why is it a mystery as to what draws down the ratings? It’s easy to figure out.
    What was the viewership at the expected kickoff? Compare that to a similar opening game match up and that tells you how much is caused by people ‘done with the nfl.
    What was the viewership at the actual kickoff? The drop from the expected kickoff tells you the damage the weather delay did.
    What was the drop off during the close, competitive game? That tells you the effect of the poor play and flags.
    What was the drop at the start of the 4th quarter? That tells you who left because they had to get up in the morning.

    Sure there will be overlap, but why ratings dropped can be determined.

  86. I’m not a rocket scientist so take this with a grain of salt. I believe we are looking at a trend here. I’ll have to rework the numbers and run a couple more double blind studies to test this hypothesis, but I believe what we are seeing is a 4 year ratings drop for the invincible Shield.

  87. It was just a flat out boring game. No way around it. It didn’t get exciting until the last few seconds when the Falcons was trying to score at the end. Maybe it was the rain delay, but numbers don’t lie. I mean they do sometimes but not in this case. Too many things are circling the game of football. Remember the time when you could turn on a football game and get lost in it? When you could just kick back and enjoy watching your team or just watch a good game even if it wasn’t your team? I miss those days.

  88. I read that Chinese manufacturing sub-contract out the work they do for Nike to North Korean plants. This gives Nike plausible deniability about using “unpaid” labor to make their products but the disparity between the sleek Nike stores/products and the thought of who makes them, makes me honestly ill.

  89. I heard there was going to be long Nike commercial during the game, So I caught up on a few episodes of Jack Ryan. NFL who?

  90. harrisonhits2 says:
    September 7, 2018 at 10:06 am
    I didn’t watch. Thanks to Goodell’s corruption and destruction of the game I don’t watch any but Pats games and playoffs. Its been 3 years since I watched any regular season game but the Pats. If they keep wrecking and softening the game the league will lose me entirely.
    _________________________________________________________

    We can tell. Your comments have gotten more and more off base. Maybe stick to Pats articles only from now on.

  91. I love all the people talking about how their done with the nfl and how they have much better things to do yet here they all are in the comment section of an nfl website.
    Yeah you’re done alright.
    Please.

  92. Delayed kickoff, sputtering offenses, a gazillion penalties, I live on the east coast, gotta work in the morning, baby wakes up at 6am…

  93. It was back to school night for most west coast parents. I didn’t turn it on until I got home after 8

  94. Of course it will be worse as the season goes on if the penalties yesterday are any indication of what we would have to watch.

  95. I watched a terrible pass interference call that went against the Falcons in the 2nd quarter. It was just another horrible call. I turned it off and watched Curb Your Enthusiasm reruns instead. This game is not enjoyable. We have had the same 12 dads in our neighborhood fantasy league for the last 5 years. This year 4 quit and we had to beg to find replacements. NFL is definitely dying a slow death. It’s true.

  96. Anyone who doesn’t watch because of kneeling is someone I can’t hang out with. Pretty weak mentally if you can’t get over that to watch something you apparently liked before hand.

  97. “harrisonhits2 says:
    September 7, 2018 at 10:06 am
    I didn’t watch. Thanks to Goodell’s corruption and destruction of the game I don’t watch any but Pats games and playoffs. Its been 3 years since I watched any regular season game but the Pats. If they keep wrecking and softening the game the league will lose me entirely.”

    I find it terribly amusing that you admit that you watch Pats games and playoff games, but you are on here, non stop with an opinion about everyone and everything. Chances are you no so little about the game, unless it falls within your biased, Pats sphere. What a joke. I mean I knew most of what you said was garbage, but at least I know why now.

  98. Ironic these boards represent free Marketing for Goodell, a Marketing guy, yet he ignores the free advice from the NFL customer.

    This is not a coincidence. It’s called institutionalized cheating.

    Falcons fans should be really upset this morning. They were jobbed.

  99. Crappy matchup, crappy game ,and started late. I still flat out say if you don’t like it, don’t watch it. NFL is the richest sports league in the world by a large money, and their revenues are growing without you. Keep your politics to yourself.

  100. I wanted to watch or at least have it on as background noise with an occasional check in but a tree in my side yard blocks my satellite every year from spring to mid fall knocking out only my local channels for some reason so I couldn’t. Perhaps other potential viewers have the same bad luck?….or it could be that the game of football itself has taken a backseat to protesting and political agendas….guessin it’s the latter

  101. The old school thought is that ratings matter. More and more people are cutting the cable and aren’t bothering to watch things on traditional TV. They’re on the internet. The ratings guys and media need to adapt to the modern way people watch sports, TV shows, or movies. Of course, conservatives will bleat that it’s all about protests. No, ratings have been on a downward trend for years.

  102. REAL football fans will watch anything, and did. The whiners are just that and whine about everything. Good, bad or ugly, this is football people and there has always been controversies, so, deal with it or move on to watching Fox & Friends or something that you can connect with.
    Thursday night games are always going to be rough for working people with families so there’s a portion of the demographics that will be tuning in late or using the DVR or watching sporadically.
    Yes, numerous flags and interruptions nearly make the game unwatchable, and these early season games are never on the same level as the games later in the season but anybody who is a REAL fan knows that, and takes the good with the bad and is just thrilled to have football back again. As with everything else in Corporate American the NFL doesn’t seem concerned about the quality of it’s product as long as they’re getting paid by the big advertisers to secure their bottom line; fan viewers (or lack thereof) and declining ticket sales are inconsequential.
    The first quarter was sluggish but actually, it wasn’t the worse game ever and the ending really picked up.
    As a football fan first, I can usually find a player on just about any team to cheer for and it was great seeing Darren Sproles back!

  103. As a card-carrying cord-cutter, I can tell you exactly what’s happening.

    There are many minor factors such as the anthem stuff, the fact that like 30 flags were thrown last night, Goodell being generally awful and leading changes that are hurting the game, etc. Those all add up to being something significant.

    But the bottom line? Less and less people have cable/satellite every year, and the NFL is tough to watch when you don’t have cable or satellite. I streamed it from the NBC Sports app through my Chromecast last night, and the app crashed at least five times. If it weren’t for my hatred of the Eagles, I would have just given up after the first or second crash.

    I’ll happily pay to watch the games, but I don’t want a 12-month contract with DirecTV essentially locking me into a ~$100/month+ year-round bill for 120+ channels when I really only want to watch NFL Sunday Ticket. I love the NFL but I’m not paying $1,200+ per year to watch Cowboys games as an out-of-market fan.

    All the hoops you have to jump through to watch the games if you choose not to have cable is a huge deterrent for any passive fan. You’re only going to keep the ~10% of fans who are actually diehard fans with this system.

  104. There’s an ebb & flow with the NFL. The NFL had big ratings decline in the late 90s, and it bounced back with a vengeance. I expect within three years the ratings will climb once again. One main factor in my prediction is that Goodell isn’t long for the league. He will be retired in three years.

  105. So many people craping on the NFL, telling us they no longer watch but make sure they wait till the game is over and spend time writing about the league/game they no longer watch! You would figure the people that have left the NFL behind wouldn’t put the effort into writing about it…..They are still winning, you are still investing your time talking about the NFL. Make a proper stand and walk away.

  106. The NFL needs Manning because he connects with middle America. The ratings started going down after he retired.

  107. Nearly everyone I know has cut cable and gone to streaming. The NFL needs to make it easily and widely available to stream games to your home if they want to see their rating stop falling.

  108. but, but, ratings decline has everything to do with anything but the polarizing flag kneeling garbage.

    Cause you see, disrespecting your country is true patriotism that every American loves!

    /endsarcasm.

  109. Thursday night late start refs looking to be the stars drone on Chris offense way behind the defense wah wah wah

  110. Watched a little bit of Dungy interviewing the Eagles HC then about a minute of Mike T, Dungy, and some ex player in the tunnel then tuned out and never came back. I can get the stats later I don’t need to waste my time.

  111. Commentary wasn’t very good either. Some bad calls, like that Jones catch was big. Couple that with so many people bashing everything they can nowadays. Throw in some political commercials in a defensive struggle.
    A bit of a penalty fest. But that’s more of how much the defenses were dominant. Some players were not ready for a full 60 min.
    I enjoyed the game itself. But too many people trashing the NFL, like everything else. Maybe if people weren’t negative about everything they could find.

  112. Some NFL games are so boring and the constant barrage of commercials is also a drag and I used to be a fanatic about Pro Football. Now if I watch and game and it becomes a snoozer or slog fest, then I go to doing something else. Too many damn commericals is my biggest beef. And all of these rule changes which have changed how real football used to be played.Its a mixed bag.

  113. mantastic54 says:
    September 7, 2018 at 10:37 am
    harrisonhits2 says:

    September 7, 2018 at 10:06 am

    I didn’t watch. Thanks to Goodell’s corruption and destruction of the game I don’t watch any but Pats games and playoffs. Its been 3 years since I watched any regular season game but the Pats. If they keep wrecking and softening the game the league will lose me entirely.
    _______________________________________________
    That’s basically where I am, I’ll watch the Bears games that are on locally but other than that it’s hard for me to watch two random teams I don’t root for play. In years past I’d be watching all day but it’s just lost it’s appeal
    +++++++++++++=
    I don’t watch at all due to the political stance the NFL has taken and ridiculous amount of penalties being called. If it’s a penalty then call it fine….but if the refs not sure then don’t call it. I have a feeling legalized gambling means more flags from the refs.

  114. They should offer more commercial breaks and more videogame-like graphics and animations in between plays. Insult the fans by dumbing it down and over-explaining basic concepts and storylines during primetime broadcasts. Oh and more commentary by guys that fans generally don’t like–guys like Collinsworth who never ever ever ever EVER stops talking. Maybe bring back Dennis Miller? Basically, just double down on what they’ve already been doing. That’ll fix everything.

  115. So…. Trump is right.

    No….. Trump is a liar.

    Thursday nights a bad idea for the league. When delayed such as last night only the fans of the teams play may watch so this is not the best measurement so lets wait on any deep conclusions.

    Letting the opinions of a lying con man shape your views on a sport shows just how suspect your intelligence is.

  116. The game was such a sloppy slugfest that I actually switched to baseball. Perhaps teams should play the starters more in the pre-season.

    Side note: Apparently Julio Jones is the only Falcon who can make a play.

  117. mlhigh says:
    September 7, 2018 at 10:40 am
    Fanboys, Goodell didn’t destroy this game, the Owners did. Roger is merely the Owners puppet. Greed, greed, greed. The Golden Goose is dead.

    ——————–

    False. He’s tied hand and hand with the owners to collect his 40 mil per. It’s laughable that you think he can tell us about integrity over and over, as he collects the 40 million to cheat NFL players, teams and fans.

  118. Any business that gives in to activists usually loses. Remember when all of those do-gooder groups ripped McDonalds for putting french fries and soft drinks in the happy meals? The listened to the activists and now push milk and a plastic bag of apple slices instead. Sales went down. The message? Give your customers what they want, not what a bunch of activists say they should do.

  119. I watched and regretted it by the 3rd quarter. The new catch rule in place and they still blew it on the Jones non catch. Add in tons of penalties and basic inconsistent referring. I am going to watch my home team but if it starts to look anything like last nights game I have way better things to spend my time on. Good luck NFL you are going to need it. Millennial viewing habits, and the millennialization of the NFL (no real hitting in practice, all rules benefiting the offense, and players spending too much on the clock time working their political stances instead of their downtime) have ruined this game.

  120. Lets be REAL honest with ourselves. Tech, entertainment and how American values our time have evolved. The NFL has not, and is expecting old results.

    Its 2018, and Americans have FASTER and BETTER better entertainment options than in 2014. Social media has encouraged Americans to get out of the house and experience amazing things.

    If we have skin in the game, we will spend 3 hours to watch our team.

    If we have passive skin in the game ( fantacy football) we can get updates by the second on our Mobile WHILE doing other things.

    If we have no skin in the game we have better things to do with our time, and dont need to waste 3 hours infront of the TV. We have great lives to live.

    It has nothing to do with politics or Goddell.

  121. People are not watching television like 15 years prior. A lot of folks have cut the chord because of the rising cost of cable and satellite services. I know my satellite bill has gone up 2% each year. I’m about to cut the chord!!

  122. harrisonhits2 says:
    September 7, 2018 at 10:06 am

    I didn’t watch. Thanks to Goodell’s corruption and destruction of the game I don’t watch any but Pats games and playoffs. Its been 3 years since I watched any regular season game but the Pats. If they keep wrecking and softening the game the league will lose me entirely.
    ________________

    The fact that you limit your viewing to such a degree probably excludes you from being a very good judge on the league as a whole.
    Basically making any future comments on this board next to useless.
    Thanks for your candor, now I know I can dismiss your views at hand.

  123. I had to turn it off after the halftime piece where Rodgers proclaimed the Packers were America’s team, I even threw up in my mouth a little. However, because I had Freeman on my fantasy team I went back halfway through the 3rd quarter. In our house we use the PS4 to stream our shows and watch cable TV and only use the antenna for local news and that’s it. We never watch network TV. I’ll never quit watching football because its part of my childhood and I don’t want to let the go ever. If I gotta put up with some dude kneeling and rule changes that’s fine. I’m not gonna be a baby and stomp off because that’s what immature people do when they dont get what they want.

  124. I watched Serena destroy her opponent in under 90 minutes. Got my sports excitement for the day right there. Exceptional player, plays with grace, treats others with respect, works as hard as anyone in sports at her craft.

  125. let’s be more real about this:
    Tom Brady (1st SB since ’04) vs. Big Ben & #1 franchise Steelers drew 17.7
    SB rematch of superstar Cam Newton vs. all-time legend Peyton Manning drew 16.5
    Tom Brady, off scandals vs. vanilla Alex Smith dropped to 14.6
    Eagles backup QB vs. Matt Ryan and his woeful Falcons in a snoozefest dropped to 13.4?

    It’s the matchups that’s all. #NFLisfine #Bulletclubisfine

  126. So on other previous articles on here, everyone was complaining about the new rules favoring the offenses and how boring it will be to see teams scoring 40 points a game, and here we have the opposite, a 6-3 halftime score, and these same fans are crying about this being boring with not enough scoring. So which one is it? No matter what happens, everyone on here seems to cry about it either way

  127. the only way they can save this league is if they use a blue dot with light trail that follows the ball all over field, allow people at home to vote if it’s a penalty, or catch (just like AGT), and dress the refs in clown uniforms.

    this is a stupid, stupid, slow-wit sport. coached by morons & managed by idiots

  128. Replay was the start of the downfall. catering to the gamblers. Just play the game, the refs are part of the game. So many people babbling about nothing. Present the game and get away. It’s not about the players, the media, it’s about the teams and it’s gotten away from that in spades.

  129. I love it, and can’t wait to hear what my President thinks about it.

    This league is liberalizing itself into obscurity.

    The product was trash last night. Littered with penalties, STILL can’t decide what a catch is, delay for RAIN (OMG, like, totally). It’s pathetic.

    The sharks are circling, which is why you’re seeing new leagues startup like the XFL. All it will take is college players deciding in favor of an alternative, which will utterly devastate the NFL. Right now, they have a monopoly on the sport. That may not be the case in 5 years. Stay tuned.

  130. What a dreadful game. Both of those teams should be embarrassed – neither deserved to win. Absolutely pathetic excuse for a football game.

    Add to that the painful reminder of how full the NFL still stuffs these games with commercials, and I can’t imagine the masochism required to sit through such a mess.

  131. Too many penalties. Too many commercials. Challenges take way too long. It kills the momentum of games. NFL games should not take longer than 3 hours to play.

    At this point I would have zero issues with teams selling ads on their jerseys and seeing ads on the field if it means there will be less commercial breaks.

  132. spielman54moore84 says:
    September 7, 2018 at 11:42 am

    I cut the cable and don’t have directv, NFL network or espn. Taking the games off the over the air channels was a mistake. How am I supposed to care about something I can’t watch?

    ================

    The game was on NBC. You have to try pretty hard to not get NBC.

  133. Crap product. Social Justice BS. The NFL is eating itself.

    When refs blew call at goal line on ATL’s opening drive, I turned it off.

    Goodell and company have turned a once-great game/league into a flat-out joke.

  134. Lot of people crediting cord-cutting to the decline. Fair enough, but how come NBA, MLB and NCAA sports are NOT suffering the same decline? If cord-cutting is impacting NFL, it should impact everyone, and that doesn’t seem to show itself in the numbers.

  135. mrdarkness13 No, that is not what immature people do. Actually, mature people understand that as consumers they can get what they want by either consuming the product or rejecting it. Just as consumers rejected US cars for a couple of decades because they were an inferior product, consumers are rejecting a radically politicized NFL. Only by withholding support in the form of refusing to watch can it be corrected. The worst thing the fan could do is continue to blindly support an inferior, politicized product. You will continue to get bad football, arrogant and narcissistic players, poor officiating and bad rules if you go ahead and watch. Go ahead and watch. I canceled my Sunday Ticket subscription for this year. I want good, non-political football back and I won’t watch until I believe that is the case.

  136. i STILL can’t believe the “powers in charge” and “decision makers” paid Cousins and Ryan all of that money….two of the biggest come up lame in a big moment players I’ve ever seen. I just laugh and laugh at the ratings plunge, NFL failure, and watching those two booby heads blow it.

  137. Seeing how winded and out of shape these players were last night, I’m thinking the league needs more commercial breaks. Maybe run regular programming and play the game in short spurts of ‘commercial breaks’.

  138. I been loving the NFL since 1982. The last couple of years I haven’t been watching as much and it’s been a turnoff to me. Plenty of reasons contributed. Not just the kneelers, the greedy owners also.

  139. Watched the condensed game today on Game Pass….41 minutes of terrible football with the referees and the gentlemen in New York continuously creating doubt on what is a catch in football and what isn’t…if that Jones play is not a catch then I give up trying to understand the ‘rule’!!!

    I was BORED watching the condensed replay…live with all the flags and commercials I would have stopped watching after the first quarter (if!!!).

  140. jocko1181 says:
    September 7, 2018 at 10:31 am
    Diehard fan who watches every game I can. I don’t like guys kneeling but that has ZERO to do with turning off, that’s not the product. The problem to me is the product STINKS. The penalties are destroying football. Too many rules in a contact sport. CB brushes up against a receiver and it’s a flag. Has zero impact on the play but the refs are calling it by the book (which stinks). And the Jarrett penalty on Foles? That was enraging and was the straw that broke my back. I’ll be watching Sunday and not like I won’t not be a fan anymore, but I can feel the game slipping away and it’s frankly sad.

    ———–

    I agree. The amount of officiating combined with the endless commercials are making the game utterly unwatchable. I watched the 1st half and then called it quits.

  141. I’m kind of happy the haters are losing interest in the NFL. Now if they’d also stay off the football blogs, I’d be even happier. Let’s make a deal: you haters worry about Nascar, and we’ll worry about the NFL. Deal?

  142. For the most part, I agree with many of the criticisms of NFL football. The game is closer pace-wise to baseball than it is to more continuous sports like hockey and soccer. That is becoming a problem and there are going to have to be some changes to address that. Cutting the number of ads but increasing on-screen or jersey ads might happen. It’s a sport that is fun to watch with friends or family, but if you’re alone it’s not the most engaging thing.

  143. Some of you people crack me up. “I don’t watch the NFL…except for my own team’s games…and the playoffs…and the Super Bowl”. Wow, way to take a stand, you’re a real profile in courage! Rosa Parks would be proud.

  144. Horrible game. Looked like the first action most starters saw this season. Unless they are allowed to practice, hit and play during the real pre-season’ weeks 1-3 will be continue to get worse. I’ll tune in in mid October (maybe)……

  145. If you are a Nielson ratings meter holder it will pick up and count what you are watching no matter if it is cable, satellite, YoutubeTV, Netflix, or other streaming providers.

  146. heymister24 says:
    September 7, 2018 at 10:29 am
    President Trump just announced his next rally is 1 PM Sunday!
    —-
    😄😄😄

    If your post makes Fox News, it’ll happen sooner than later.

  147. A lot of reasons…
    -Cost – live games or having to buy NFL Sunday Ticket. It’s gotten out of control and priced average people out.
    -NFL Sunday Ticket’s Directv monopoly. It’s turned off enough people that they don’t even watch nationally televised games.
    -Cord cutters
    -Bad rules/officiating is ruining the pro game. Too many games seem fixed.
    -Anthem protesters have driven a number of people off (whether you think it’s valid or not, it’s happening). Nike’s timing rubbed salt in that wound for those guys.
    -People are sick of mouthy players like Richard Sherman. And if his prediction of a lockout in 2021 is right, the NFL will die and never recover to what it once was. Might be good timing for the XFL.

  148. I was already boycotting the Eagles. But if I wasn’t, the news that Nike was going to show their commercial during the game would have done it.

  149. Rating or no ratings, this was a very interesting game to watch. Injuries forest Atlanta to play zone and Foles took advantage of it. Meanwhile, Philadelphia’s defense played better as the game went on. To me, this is an impressive win from a team with lots of distractions, new coaches, and the pressure of being the champion. Philly is for real. -Vikings fan.

  150. Through a total absence of leadership, the NFL has itself in deep trouble. No matter what side you take on the anthem issue you’re still mad at either the league itself or the players that make up the league. That’s a lose-lose situation for the NFL that they keep making worse. Rule changes are constant and never seen positively due to the haphazard way they’re enacted. The general perception among fans is the NFL is making itself worse. Given all that, why would anyone expect ratings to NOT be declining?

  151. What goes up, must come down.
    Did the NFL really expect to hold such dominance over female viewers forever?
    They came with the pink…and now they’re going back to their normal viewing.
    Stop changing the game for NON-core fans. Or you’ll lose both.

  152. bannedfromchoirpractice says:

    I’m kind of happy the haters are losing interest in the NFL. Now if they’d also stay off the football blogs, I’d be even happier.
    ===========================================

    So you want PFT to be your safe space?

  153. superfanentertainment says:
    September 7, 2018 at 10:18 am
    Rain delay. Nothing more.

    Quit acting like America doesn’t absolutley LIVE for football.

    Everyone will be drooling like rabid animals for football by 10 am this Sunday

    _______________________________________________________

    What Planet do you live on?

  154. Ratings aren’t the be all end all of everything anymore. Look at all the money NFL just got from reuppping with Nike, giving Fox Thursday night football, and also their new deal with Verizon. Not to mention Pizza Hut. There’s other ways to make money besides just ratings you know.

  155. The question really isn’t why are people not watch any more. The question is, why are some people still watching.

  156. Why would the ratings go down so much? That massive drop after SB 51. Hmm, perplexing. Maybe no one wants to watch cheaters continue to be rewarded. . . Jussayin
    #*****
    #spygate
    #deflategate
    #tuck

  157. I think some could be due to the anthem protest, but I think the decline is more related to cord cutting. Also, for last night, the rain delay may have contributed. However, the ratings decline that was listed for the past few years, in my opinion, is more related to cord cutting.

  158. Bozo the Clown MILLION dollar a week Drama Queen Goodell is Lying thru his teeth when he says ratings are down 1 %.

  159. mullman76 says:
    September 7, 2018 at 10:50 am
    @345SnarkAve:

    The opposite episode.

    “My name is George, I’m unemployed and live with my parents.”

    ————-

    yup, that’s another classic.

    George to Steinbrenner : Well, I wish I could say the same, but I must say, with all due respect, I find it very hard to see the logic behind some of the moves you have made with this fine organization. In the past twenty years you have caused myself, and the city of New York, a good deal of distress, as we have watched you take our beloved Yankees and reduced them to a laughing stock, all for the glorification of your massive ego!

    Steinbrenner : Hire this man!

  160. I quit watching football when the NFL allowed these protestors to kneel during the anthem. I just come to PFT for the entertainment.

  161. I love football.. love watching games ..

    What I do not like about the current NFL

    1) Players whining and holding for more money. they practice one day and make more than most of us do in a year

    2) Anthem protests .. just stand for 2 mins .. you work and get paid in US dollars. Give me a break. You want to protest something then do it in your own time.

    3) The games are too long .. a 60 minute game turns into a 3+ hour commercial for 60 mins worth of football. Don’t even get me started on replays and stupid challenges for a yard or two.

    4) Excessive dancing .. NFL Fortnite

    5) Suspensions for drug abusers. If you get caught twice .you should be banned. Weed is not a drug.

  162. Once you lose Brady to retirement, the league has zero intriguing players left. Favre, Manning, and Brady were the ratings grab. Now it’s down to Brady.

  163. People pissed about kneeling. People pissed that CK is out of the league. The teams that played. Thursday. Officiating. Goodell. Chord cutting. College football being more fun/enjoyable to watch. Head injuries. The 35 minute delay in the kickoff. Which one could it be?

    In reality it isn’t any one…it’s all of them. Philly and Atlanta aren’t exactly teams with a national draw for a regular season game and having East Coast teams for a national game on a weeknight with a delayed kick is pretty tough. Add in all of the other stuff and you have what you have.

    Probably the biggest factor, though, is the “quality” of the product. Officials are in a tough spot. They call the game as they are told to by the owners who are trying not to get sued because of CTE. The players bitch. The fans bitch.

    Another factor is the mediocrity that the NFL passes off as “parity”. There is one truly dominant team: the Patriots. Other teams are good consistently like the Steelers. Beyond that, it’s a bunch of .500 squads over the long haul. Look back from 82-92 – The 49ers, Giants and Redskins. Those were dominant teams that were the measuring stick of the league. Were there more chump teams? Sure. But the high point of the league was much better than it is now. For long-time fans of the NFL, what we have is a watered-down version of what we saw.

    Is the NFL in “trouble”? Hardly. The league generated $13 BILLION in revenue in 2017 alone. Teams are very profitable and players make a sh*t ton of money. The shield isn’t going anywhere.

    That said: fans will continue to turn away. Maybe what’s really happening is a perfect storm of circumstances that has led folks to do something else when the NFL is one.

  164. ratings are down but income is up.Whats the deal? well if you actually checked you would notice a few things like every sport have lower ratings.Why? devices is why.Get a clue to some reality

  165. tylawspick6 says:
    September 7, 2018 at 11:28 am
    mlhigh says:
    September 7, 2018 at 10:40 am
    Fanboys, Goodell didn’t destroy this game, the Owners did. Roger is merely the Owners puppet. Greed, greed, greed. The Golden Goose is dead.

    ——————–

    False. He’s tied hand and hand with the owners to collect his 40 mil per. It’s laughable that you think he can tell us about integrity over and over, as he collects the 40 million to cheat NFL players, teams and fans.

    ———-

    Tylaw is absolutely correct on this. Read the bylaws and what the duties/responsibilities of the commissioner are. The commissioner is supposed to be the one that protects the game, above the owners. If he had upheld those duties he’d be long gone. Instead he lets his decisions be swayed by whatever group of owners seems to be in the majority at any given time, when there are times those decisions are not in the best interest of the game.

    Basically, he’s sold his soul, which makes him responsible.

  166. A lot of people now watch TV using their smart phones or streaming over the internet. I wonder if that is one reason the ratings are down, if these viewers are not counted by the TV rating companies.

  167. Ratings have been in decline for years. has nothing to do with Trump, protesting or any of that stuff…its just hard to watch these days.The game has changed drastically over the last decade. So much obvious cheating going on..on and off the field. You have Kraft and Jones that are part of two gambling entities in their own sport? Really? No loyalty to cities anymore. Rams, Raiders and Chargers should have all stayed put. Other entertainment options.Holdouts, in team fighting, management issues and lying sack of ish commissioner rounds out the list.

  168. If you don’t think a sport can die out slowly just see the slow painful deaths of Major League Baseball, Boxing and Horseracing. The NFL is heading that way.

  169. First NFL game of 2018 season was down 8% from last year’s kickoff of September 7, 2017, which was down from 2016 . #Justdoit is working!

  170. cboys4life2014 says:
    September 7, 2018 at 11:08 am
    I wanted to watch or at least have it on as background noise with an occasional check in but a tree in my side yard blocks my satellite every year from spring to mid fall knocking out only my local channels for some reason so I couldn’t. Perhaps other potential viewers have the same bad luck?….or it could be that the game of football itself has taken a backseat to protesting and political agendas….guessin it’s the latter

    ——-

    at least you admit you’re just guessing.

    at any rate, that tree did you a favor last night.

  171. Pretty dull game but exciting finish. Once again the Falcons have a chance to win this game if Julio Jones can catch the ball for a TD in the endzone on 4th down. Once again he could not make the catch. Did he choke?

  172. Just LOVE all the socialist/Leftist/Millennial cry-baby clowns constantly complaining about “Greed” destroying the NFL.

    WAKE UP! The rating STILL dwarf ANY OTHER sport.

    Just because it’s down from it BEST is NO argument for your lame assertions.

    Got a latte and give your money to Starbucks.. they are so much LESS “greedy”..

    SMDH

  173. I have 11 year old twin girls, so they wouldn’t be playing football anyway….but I asked them what sports their classmates are most into. #1) soccer #2) basketball #3) football #4) baseball #5) hockey (we live in the mid-atlantic region). I played football in high school and college, and grew up loving the game but young kids just don’t….they have a million other sports, and other things, to compete for their attention.

  174. There are so many variables in the mix, but I think if it was simply more fun to watch, it would be more popular.

    The quality of the game has been largely in decline and the way it’s presented on TV makes it into a tiresome, overlong slog.

    Make it fun, faster-paced, and less interrupted, and most other sins will be forgiven. Bottom line, people will watch it if they enjoy it, and not watch it if they don’t.

  175. I seriously doubt the amount of people watching the game is down very much. The problem with ratings is that they’re based on TV. I don’t have a single friend who still pays for TV. People are just watching on the internet and that’s not accounted for in the ratings. Sure a bunch of rednecks stopped watching because they don’t understand that systemic racism is bad, but it wasn’t that many people.

  176. I watched the entire game and as a 62 year NFL fan here are my thoughts:
    If your life is ruined by a player kneeling during a 2 minute song you have other problems. I’m a VV [US]. Veterans will know what that means.
    As many others have stated, nobody seems to know what a catch is. It’s understandable to blow a call at full speed but then why do you have replays?
    It appears RTP is going to be called on every clean sack so defensive players may as well drill the QB anyway.
    Whomever dreamed up this rule should be catapulted at a tackling dummy and see how they stop.

  177. Reasons I ignore the NFL: 100+ commercials, the pussification of the sport, Kaepernick, Goodell, Peter King, and now ….Nike, the NFL and Kap’s partner. May the entire house burn.

  178. NFL’s given me a 100 reasons not to watch including the kneelers, Crapperneck, Nike,
    bad officiating…..Thursday night football is unwatchable……on top of that Collingsworthless never shuts up…he loves the sound of his own voice. Last year I even tried muting the TV which helped……but its one big trainwreck!!

  179. Theadvent says:
    September 7, 2018 at 10:09 am
    Maybe the thunderstorm knocked out everyone’s electricity? It’s not rocket surgery, people.

    Wow! Is this for real?

  180. In 1985 you could wake up on Sunday, watch ESPN NFL Countdown, then watch two games, catch ESPN NFL Prime Time and then watch the night game. That was like 13 hours of interesting football content. Good times.
    Now ESPN is unwatchable and the games aren’t far behind. Last night was a great example. About 5 minutes into the 3rd qtr I realized that I valued sleep more than finding out who the victor of a boooooooorrrring and very sloppy game was going to be. Neither team deserved to win.

  181. Real easy answer is eliminate Thirsday night games.I never ever watch Thursday night games unless my team is forced to pkay.I mean really a superbowl champ had to open the season on a Thursday night????

  182. Thursday night games are a mistake, we already have 1 weekday game and that’s more than enough. Move Thursday night games to the weekends and be done with it.

  183. If not for fantasy I wouldn’t be watching either. The game is fading and people are getting sick of it.

  184. I used to watch every game on Sunday and every Monday night game no matter who was playing. Now I only watch when my Steelers are playing or its a game that may effect them in the standings. I just plain lost interest. Games are too long and have too many commercials.

  185. When people posting on a Pro Football website claim they no longer watch the NFL.😃

    They really think saying this is scaring someone in the NFL offices.

    Am I the only one that finds these people totally hilarious?😂

  186. I was at the game, but man do I wonder how many people watched that 2-minute Kaepernick commercial and decided to change the channel. The NFL is taking big bucks from Nike and doing nothing while Nike sabotages the NFL’s product.

    People can get their football and football betting fixes from college football. U of Alabama isn’t crapping on the flag and they went to the White House instead of making political statements, Many military people have said they are upset at the kneeling. The response is to call them idiots and say we are only protesting cops. In the end, the NFL is worried about placating people who don’t care about the NFL and want to see it gone over its “toxic masculinity.” The SJW crowd destroys everything it touches. I can’t name one thing the SJW crowd has sunk their claws into and that thing came out better than before. I challenge anyone to name one thing.

  187. Michael E says:
    September 7, 2018 at 12:12 pm
    bannedfromchoirpractice says:

    I’m kind of happy the haters are losing interest in the NFL. Now if they’d also stay off the football blogs, I’d be even happier.
    ===========================================

    So you want PFT to be your safe space?
    ——————————————-

    Someone posted Trump’s having a rally at 1PM Sunday. You better quit wasting time here and get your white sheet ironed.

  188. Yes, it was a mediocre game and the flags made the tempo hard to watch but you cant compare the calls this year to the previous year. The bright side is that the officials seem to be returning to the concept that it has to be a blatantly incorrect call for it to be overturned. Thats a good thing. Hopefully, as the teams and the refs adjust to some of the new rules and areas of emphasis, the game will have more flow.

  189. When people posting on a Pro Football website claim they no longer watch the NFL.😃

    I don’t get you guys that do this every thread. Just because they quit watching doesn’t mean they can’t read or comment on it. I watched a 65 year old Perry Mason rerun last night instead of tuning in to the game.

  190. Its so awesome that all the fans hate the game and won’t watch it, but thousands come on this site daily from their jobs to complain about it. If it all goes away, what would all of you do all day?
    T law would jump off a building.

  191. superfanentertainment says:
    September 7, 2018 at 10:18 am
    Rain delay. Nothing more.
    Quit acting like America doesn’t absolutley LIVE for football.
    Everyone will be drooling like rabid animals for football by 10 am this Sunday.

    ——————————–
    Saying 10 am on Sunday tells me all I need to know

  192. Flags… It’s the Flags. Nothing says awful game like stopping after every other play to throw a flag. I watch one team anymore because for some stupid reason I care if they win or lose. Every other game on TV is boring because of the stupid penalties. I would love to see a side by side of the Rulebook in 1968 vs the Rulebook in 2018

  193. I find tylawspick6 very amusing. This article has nothing to do with his team but he can’t wait to jump on here to try and post hateful things about the “horrible” Eagles whom he believes are being handed games by the league. Bwa-ha-ha-ha!! Clearly you are a delusional idiot who is STILL butt-hurt about the Super Bowl. I just LOVE when hypocritical Patsie fans get on a rant about another team winning unfairly. Again: Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha….your stupid team EPITOMIZES the cheating strategy and games being given to them by the refs yet here you are once again whining that it happens with some other team. So, it’s o.k. when the Patsies cheat and get games handed to them by the officials but it’s NOT o.k. if you perceive that it is happening to another team????? Yeah, o.k. got it!

  194. Of all of the theories on here the dumbest have to be the number of flags and how the game was “boring” and “unwatchable.” Unless you actually watched the game how would you know this? Are you Notradamus and foresaw this prior to not tuning in? Or are you just pulling excuses out of your butt as to not give credence to the NFL shield being tarnished by the anthem protests? You can’t claim flags caused people to not tune in before they were thrown!

  195. And that game was not “boring.” Good defense is exciting not boring and this game came down to the final seconds and required a goal line stand. If you call that “boring” you’re not a football fan. Also, the Eagles are a marquee NFL franchise and the defending champions. The Falcons went to the Super Bowl the year before. The notion that the teams were to blame for the lower rating is asinine. Totally bogus. And, you can’t choose to not tune into a game due too many flags and sloppy play before the game is actually played! So there goes that excuse. It was the Anthem Protests from the past and we all know it. So can the phony excuses!

  196. LowIQLeft says:
    September 7, 2018 at 2:05 pm
    Obama would say if you no longer watch the NFL, you are a racist, clinging to your God, Bible and guns

    —–

    gauging by the comments here, in many cases he’d be right.

  197. tylawspick6 says:

    September 7, 2018 at 10:15 am

    I turned it off once I knew Goodell was cheating so brazenly. 28 flags?

    Why is it that Julio JOnes’s clear catch is called incomplete and Corey Clement’s clear incompletion in the SB is called a TD for pHilly?

    The cheating is unbelievable.

    Ratings to tumble a 3rd straight year. This is one big reaosn why ,if not the main reason.

    Goodell is a cheater and simply wanted the home, SB winning team to win last night, so he gives the refs “instructions” before the game. Been going on for years.
    ——————-
    You are absolutely right about giving refs instructions.. Just like when the Jags got cheated against your Patriots last year…lol

  198. there are more factors than the kneeling (although im sick of that nonsense) the game is unwatchable thanks to years & years of turning it into flag football & gutting the hard hitting/gladiator aspect of the sport. this is from someone who would watch any football you put in front of him to not even watching a single snap last night. i watched braves/diamondbacks instead. goodell has got to go.

  199. The rules are out of control… Any given series will look like this…
    1st down – run for 3
    2nd down – Holding
    2nd down – Roughing the passer (breathing too hard – made the Qb cringe his nose)
    1st down – run for 2
    2nd down – Pass interference
    1st down – Holding
    1nd down – run for 6
    2nd down – throw for 5
    3rd down – Defensive Pass Interence

    Let’s let the players play instead of the referees…

  200. rxv5854 says:
    September 7, 2018 at 10:13 am

    I refuse to watch the games due to Kaep being clearly blackballed. There you go NFL, both sides aren’t watching anymore for the same issue.

    ————————————-

    Blackballed as in he opted out of his contract with the 49ers? Blackballed as in he turned down a contract offer from the Broncos? Blackballed as he and his girlfriend sabotaged a potential signing with the Ravens?

  201. the nfl is in big trouble once the likes of brady, rodgers, & brees retire. zero star power. no young/great qb heir apparent. big trouble.

  202. It’s impossible to evaluate this outside of the context of what ratings are doing for sports and popular TV in general. It could be that people are just watching more Netflix and viral memes on social medias video sexts on snapchat. It could be that everyone is glued to Fox News or MSNBC. Football can only control what football does versus other sports and leagues and I was not aware of a major ratings surge in College Football, NBA, NHL, MLB, wrassling, NASCAR, etc.

  203. shogunassasin30 says:

    September 7, 2018 at 10:53 am

    ill42 says:
    September 7, 2018 at 10:32 am
    Context is key here. Any other sport would murder for these ratings.
    _____________________________________________________________________
    The NBA is thriving, and their players are more popular worldwide. And its not close. The NFL’s big advantage? No multi-game series play. With win or go home, the small supply drives up huge demand.Oh and the Golden St Warriors and Cavs finals that everyone is supposedly so tired of? Up 40% from last year alone. Context indeed….
    ———————————————————————————
    You’re literally making stuff up. Google is a thing, you know. Where on earth are you getting this stat that NBA finals were up 40% from last year? You NBA fanboys are too much

  204. During a Patriots game at halftime the league should release the PSI measurements collected during the 2015 season. 🙂 I smell RATINGS!

  205. Scalesofjustice says:
    September 7, 2018 at 12:19 pm
    superfanentertainment says:
    September 7, 2018 at 10:18 am
    Rain delay. Nothing more.

    Quit acting like America doesn’t absolutley LIVE for football.

    Everyone will be drooling like rabid animals for football by 10 am this Sunday

    _______________________________________________________

    What Planet do you live on?
    =====

    The planet where over 13 million people watched a terrible football game on a weeknight that started an hour and a half late. The planet where the NFL had record profits last year.

  206. Gee, I wonder why? Oh wait, people are tired of the SJW circus.

    Blame the weather and cord cutting all you want. Blame the sloppy, defensive, penalty-filled aspects all you want. At the end of the day, the Anthem protests are turning people off. People are dumping them for that reason alone. Yes, the NFL raked in revenue, but that was mostly due to high cable bills. Can’t lean on just SJWs forever.

  207. I didn’t watch. I only checked my fantasy sites. I’ll use the NFL as it has used me for so many years. Plus now Kaperchick is on commercials. I may just quit watching live TV so I can skip all commercials. I used to love the NFL. Now, not so much. Only for fantasy, which used to be do or die, now it’s no more than a hobby. I used to want my kids to grow up to play football. Now I’d rather they play baseball or basketball. Sorry NFL. You are losing with my family. Just about on life support.

    ITS TIME TO START LISTENING, NFL!!! You cannot ignore us forever!

  208. TorontoMinorLeagueFootball says:
    September 7, 2018 at 4:09 pm
    Ratings for all television broadcasts are down year over year. The NFL still dominates.

    That’s not the issue. The issue is fewer and fewer people are watching the NFL. Sure, the NFL will win the ratings compared to competitors, but the audience is shrinking.

  209. The reason play is so bad is because of highly effective steroids and hgh and lord knows what else these monster are taking. The plays happen too fast because of the speed of the players. It used to be fun watching guys run around awhile before being caught and tackled. Remember Steve young against the Vikings? Young would get his head taken off in today’s game after 5 yards. Bigger and faster players make it more dangerous so they can’t practice as much which adds to the poor play. Which leads to penalties and all around awfulness and no rhythm to the game/telecast. College is more fun to watch precisely because while being fast, they are generally slower and if on drugs, less effective/expensive types of drugs. Imagine watching super human robots play football poorly. That’s what we are getting now. I’ve always been a huge football fan and didn’t even think to turn it on last night. Stats show people did turn it on in the 1st quarter but many turned it off. This is because it’s just not fun to watch because of the above.

  210. Television doesn’t get the kind of television ratings it got a few years ago. NFL football remains the highest rating thing on tv.

    But it was fairly poor planning by the NFL (what else is new?) to put a weeknight prime time game as it debut featuring 2 teams that both play in the Eastern Time Zone and don’t particularly have national followings. And while you can’t with 100% certainty predict the weather, it’s reasonable to assume that even without lightning, an outdoor game in late summer is pretty likely to affected negatively by heat (cramps, injuries, fatigue, sloppy play) in most non dome cities, except for perhaps Green Bay, New England, and West Coast locations.

    Texans/Patriots, for example, would have made a lot more sense. Interdivision game, great storylines with the return of JJ Watt & Deshaun Watson, an hour earlier for Houston fans, lots of Pats fans nationwide, etc….

  211. jh82208 says:
    September 7, 2018 at 1:00 pm
    If you don’t think a sport can die out slowly just see the slow painful deaths of Major League Baseball, Boxing and Horseracing. The NFL is heading that way

    /////////////////
    You hit the nail on the head especially about boxing. As a kid in th 70s I loved watching boxing every Saturday, I think it was on Wide World of Sports. Then they started messing with weight divisions, multiple titles and pay per view. Today I could not name a current boxer.

  212. The number of people watching Red Zone worldwide makes every other sport look like a joke.

    I have friends in Germany who can’t get enough.

    Red Zone did for the NFL want Jordan dunks on ESPN did for the NBA.

    No other sport can compare.

  213. smooth out game play, simple.

    Less opinion penalties

    Less Commercials- this is a way easier fix then people realize, put ads on boarders, the field, and do what racing does, which has racing continue in a side view as an ad runs

  214. NFL continues to allow players to disrespect the flag. They think they cant just ignore it now and I will go away. The damage has been done. Combine that with the new flag football rules and the NFL just isn’t as entertaining as it once was and I don’t want to support it… or Nike. Got rid of Sunday Ticket and won’t be buying any more NFL or Nike items in the future. Their hypocrisy is insulting.

  215. The NFL deserves what the are getting. With the rules all screwed up, the stupid replay system, player hold outs, and players disrespecting the flag and Anthem, it’s no wonder NFL fans are finding other things to do.
    I hope the ratings continue to drop. I’d love the owners and players to get a good dose of reality.

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