Thursday night game was most-watched for NFL Network since 2015

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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.

32 responses to “Thursday night game was most-watched for NFL Network since 2015

  1. Thank you for reporting this television rating fact.

    It’s interesting to track viewership numbers. The conclusions people draw from such numbers are deeply based in economical beliefs.

    I’m not sure what is meant by “NFL is on the decline” bandwagon. Does that mean that people are rooting for the NFL to fail? If so, why?

  2. The NFL needs to continue marketing its stars like the NBA does. Baker Mayfield is a great face for the Browns and their rebuild.

    Plus last week was the first I can recall where there was no mention of the anthem and no player got arrested for domestic violence. Keep it that way!

  3. I watched it on my phone. I would have liked to watch on my TV, but the NFL app is incapable of such a difficult task.

  4. thewanderer says:
    September 21, 2018 at 3:40 pm
    I watched it on my phone. I would have liked to watch on my TV, but the NFL app is incapable of such a difficult task.


    The NFL deliberately removed the ability to connect your phone or tablet to a television to watch any NFL game.

  5. I’m not a browns fan, but after watching them on hard knocks, I am kind of rooting for them to not suck so bad. I suspect a lot of nfl fans tuned in for that reason, and when baker hit the field.

  6. “It was not good news for those on the “NFL is in trouble” bandwagon.”

    Did you ever stop to think that so many TNF matchups just aren’t very good.

    And don’t forget the potential for a historic win for the Browns to end their 635 day losing streak.

    I tuned in for awhile just for that reason.

  7. Does the NFL network cook the numbers like ESPN does? If so, 3 million people watched. Even 6 million is nothing to celebrate. The NFL has a problem and they are their.own worse enemy when it comes to promoting their product.

  8. . says:
    September 21, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    I’m not sure what is meant by “NFL is on the decline” bandwagon. Does that mean that people are rooting for the NFL to fail? If so, why?

    It means that through it’s own ineptness, the NFL is causing people to tune out. No one wants to see it happen, but with bozos like Goodell in charge, and all of the pointless rule changes that are watering down the game, it’s inevitable.

  9. saltineamerican says:
    September 21, 2018 at 3:52 pm
    The Nike commercials featuring Colin Kaepernick were timed perfectly with my bathroom breaks.

    Ironically it was enjoying the content on PFT that took my time on every commercial break, not just that one. So I missed it.

  10. “It was not good news for those on the “NFL is in trouble” bandwagon.”

    How is that bad news for those that think the NFL is hurting itself? These are football lovers that want it to coninue and we are worried it wont. No one is rooting for the NFL to decline, we are rooting for the NFL to stop hurting itself. Its an important difference and Im saddened to see anyone that does not understand it.

  11. RogerThat! says:
    September 21, 2018 at 4:23 pm
    This is what happens when you put on a good competitive game. Not that it was intentional.

    Not the matchup you expect it from. Lol.

    There was a lot going out on social media telling people they wanted to turn it on. Word got out pretty well that there was special stuff happening. It was good buzz.

  12. vaphinfan says:
    September 21, 2018 at 4:39 pm
    I watched until I saw the Kap commercial then turned it off and went to bed.

    Although I apparently missed the commercial, that would not have made me turn off a game that exciting. But then I could care less about the politics, I think its stupid but it doesnt anger me or affect my viewing habits. The thing that puts me out is the officiating issues and rules changes that I think are undermining the game itself. But last night those things were not making issues of themselves it was just good old fashioned exciting football topped off with Cinderella story and underdog triumph.

  13. So what happens when a game isn’t marred by dozens of excessive penalty flags???
    Wait, what? Viewership goes up? People talk about it more afterwards? What???

  14. I watched the entire game, probably the first time ever for a Thursday game. I grew up in NE Ohio watching the Browns in the late 60s, and since the Bills suck so bad this year, I’m rooting for the Browns. That was a great game last night, and I was glad to see the Browns pick up a win.

  15. Competing with a bad Tulsa-Temple college game is understandable. I kept switching between two bad games only to finally see CLE actually win a game.

  16. Contrary to what all you haters say, the Browns have a massive,loyal fanbase that is eager to see them do well. With the two close games that they could’ve won and a primetime game with the potential for both high rookie draft picks to play against each other, no wonder the ratings were up! Don’t care who you are, that was an exciting game to watch last night.

  17. The second half was an Incredible game. I had to tune in to see if allthese Bills fans ranting about Tyrod being traded were right and I was not. And oh well….that question was answered for life!

  18. Actually let’s Face the facts, a good Browns team is good for The NFL.

    Actually go to the Browns Backers website, they are everywhere

  19. You can only count me for 1/2 of the game, the TV was tuned to the game but it put me to sleep by halftime, what a snoozefest! One of the most boring first halfs to a game I’ve seen in a long, long time!

    BTW if you’re in charge of NFL scheduling how in the hell do you schedule an 0-16 team for a prime-time game, whether it’s Thursday, Sunday or Monday? What kind of clowns are running the show there?

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