The New Orleans Saints’ 12-9 victory over the Carolina Panthers last night on Monday Night Football may not have scored big numbers, but it sure sprinkled some final gold dust on the road to the Super Bowl for Drew Bees and the boys.

While there are still a few more games to go in the regular season for the Saints, they now have a 12-2 record and the top seed for the NFC playoffs.

The game’s ratings also looked bright for the NFL and ESPN in the second-to-last MNF of 2018. Pulling in a 9.1 in metered-market results, the Saints-Panthers game was the second highest-rated MNF of the season. Only the history-making November 19 battle between the Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs topped last night’s game in early metrics. That City of Angels set face-off, a wild 54-51 Rams win, earned an 11.3 MM rating.

As a look into what last night’s game might deliver in the final numbers, that Rams-Chiefs game went on to score 16.7 million viewers and a 5.5 rating among adults 18-49.

In the usual comparisons, last night’s MNF is up 15% over last week’s Seattle Seahawks’ 17-3 crushing of the Minnesota Vikings. Looking back to the Atlanta Falcons’ victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on December 18, 2017, last night’s 8:15-11: 15 PM ET MNF surged 40% in the metered market numbers, a healthy win compared with the ratings-challenged last season.

The Seahawks-Vikings game pulled in a 3.5 rating in the key demo and an audience of 11.4 million.

ESPN won primetime Monday among broadcast and cable – again.