The Thursday night game didn’t look like it was going to be worth watching for the first quarter and a half. But then some kid named Baker Mayfield entered the game, and the Browns-Jets game became must-see TV.
The Browns’ 21-17 victory over the Jets — Cleveland’s first since Christmas Eve 2016 — generated a large number for NFL Network.
It pulled in 8.6 million viewers, NFL Network’s highest-rated and most-watched exclusive Thursday night game since a December 2015 game between Minnesota and Arizona, the NFL announced. Last night’s game averaged a 5.2 household rating.
The 8.6 million viewers was a 16 percent increase from last season’s Rams-49ers game on Thursday night in Week Three and 41 percent higher than last year’s Thursday Night Football average for exclusive games on NFL Network.
The game peaked at 10.3 million viewers during the game’s final six minutes.
It was not good news for those on the “NFL is in trouble” bandwagon.