NFL fans love statistics and here is one from last night’s Monday Night Football that will spin your head. The still-unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs’ 27-23 victory over the Denver Broncos was the first time the Colorado team blew a 10-point lead at home in almost 14 years.
Characterized by that left-handed pass from Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes in his MNF debut and the determination of Eric Murray, the ESPN game last night had all the drama you’d want from a matchup just four weeks into the season.
He wasn’t even looking and still picked it! #SCtop10
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 2, 2018
On another playing field where you can live or die by the numbers, that primetime play also translated into a ratings win, with the action-packed MNF scoring a 9.1 in the metered markets. That’s pretty steady (a bop up of 8%) compared with last week’s MNF game, when Pittsburgh beat Tampa Bay 30-27 on the Disney-owned sports cabler. Last night’s MNF is also up 8% from the comparable game last year on October 2, 2017, when the also then still-unbeaten Chiefs took down Washington 29-20 at Arrowhead Stadium.
In an environment where even live sports ratings are taking a hit in recent years, and even against a fully loaded lineup on the Big 4, an added silver lining for ESPN and the NFL is that the outlet again looks certain to top the night overall on both cable and broadcast.
To give some sense of how this all might end up for MNF in the final numbers, last week’s game snared 12.01 million viewers and a 4.4 rating among adults 18-49. The Chiefs’ 29-20 victory over Washington in Week 4 of the 2017-2018 season earned 11.9 million viewers and a 4.3 rating in the key demo.
As always, we’ll update with more MNF numbers as they come in, plus ratings for the debuts of CBS’ The Neighborhood and Happy Together, the season’s second episode of ABC’s The Good Doctor and more.