Bucs-Patriots becomes second most-watched Sunday Night Football game ever

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New England Patriots
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As expected, Tom Brady‘s return to New England drew a big audience. To the undoubted delight of Jerry Jones, it wasn’t the biggest audience that ever tuned in for a Sunday night game.

Via Deadline.com, Sunday night’s Buccaneers-Patriots contest generated a total audience of 28.5 million. That made it the second most-watching Sunday night game ever, second only to the Week 17 2012 playoff play-in game between the Cowboys and Washington, which delivered an audience of 30.3 million.

Given the realities of current TV viewing habits, it’s as strong a number as any regular-season game is going to deliver, especially this early in the season. Most of the most-watched games of the past came later in the year, as records develop and good teams declare themselves.

Also, it took a while for the game to get interesting. With plenty of rain and not much scoring, the game may not have held interest the way it could have, or maybe should have.

19 responses to “Bucs-Patriots becomes second most-watched Sunday Night Football game ever

  1. I know some thought it was a dud, but I thought it was a great game.

    It was strange rooting for Brady after all of these years. There was something very poetic about watching him do the same kind of improbable late comeback against the Pats that he did to pretty much every other team while he played for them.

  2. Don’t care about Brady don’t care about belichick don’t care about the Patriots didn’t watch it

  3. The real winner was Mac Jones… As big a game that was, he played like a seasoned vet…
    People keep saying Brady struggled throwing because it was wet… Jones played in the same weather and didn’t seem to bother his throwing..

  4. I remember a Monday night game between the Dolphins and the 1985 Bears. “Da Bears” were 12-0 at the time. Recent games get more viewers (because the population and the NFL both keep growing). But that regular season Bears/Fins game was probably more significant to football fans than the Bucs/Pats last night.

  5. touchback6 says:
    October 4, 2021 at 7:37 pm
    The jealousy of others is hilarious.


    Our team is 1-3….. other than some Jags fans, I don’t think many people are jealous…

  6. I would have been okay with it being #1, especially since a game involving the Cowboys is holding that spot….

  7. Brady, of course,is the goat. But the football world got a look at Mac Jones who sure looks like a taent worth watching. It was only his fourth pro game, I’m looking forward to his next ones.

  8. The Bucs receivers seemed to have a lot more problems with the wet ball than the Pats receivers.

  9. The Pats are finding their way. Getting better every game. I like the future, and will let the season develop as it will. The team is good and the QB is the real deal.

  10. The game itself was hard to watch because there was some serious scheming going on to slow down the games greatest qb. The weather played part but got to give it to the Pats who came with a super game plan to keep Brady off balance and hats off to Brady for grinding through it and coming out with a hard earned win. Jones is going to be the 2nd best qb to come out of this draft class and is going to have a nice, long career in the NFL.

  11. Great Game,

    It was a great game, as a Pat’s fan glad to see Brady is now offically gone, we lost but it’s was a givein we would! The Pat’s put up the fight and was within a few feet of taking the lead whether Brady would have done the Brady thing with time on the clock is now left to conjecture, probally! Bellecheck did the right call and ended the game losing by a few points and maintaing that moral victory and hyping the team up for the next game.
    Loved the boo’s screw the accolades he’s now offically the opposition and New Englanders can now view him that way!!!!

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