Certainly there seemed to be a big difference between Monday Night Football and Sunday Night Football this week, with a blowout game on the latter and a dramatic and tight matchup on the former. In the end, the Atlanta Falcons flew high over the Emerald City with a 34-31 win over the Seattle Seahawks on MNF.
A last-minute 52-yard field goal by Seattle’s Blair Walsh went wrong to seal the 2013 Super Bowl champs’ second straight loss. The Falcons’ second consecutive victory in Week 11 of the NFL season now sees them well positioned as the postseason looms.
In an NFL season that has seen political controversy and ratings slides, the politics were also smoothed out for once as all of the Seahawks and the Falcons stood for the national anthem at the Salute to Service game, which delivered a 7.2 in metered market results for ESPN and the league.
Rising like the November 19 SNF did over its previous week, last’s night’s MNF was up 16% in the early numbers compared with the November 13 game. That national anthem protest-tinged 45-21 win for the Carolina Panthers over the Miami Dolphins went on to snag the second-lowest result of this season with a 3.0 rating among adults 18-49 and 8.6 million viewers.
However, as Thanksgiving awaits America this week, a look back at last year’s comparable MNF game may not be so appetizing to the NFL and ESPN. Last night’s game took an 11% hit against the Oakland Raiders’ 27-20 win over the Houston Texans on November 21, 2016. That Mexico City-played game ended up with a 4.0 rating and a total audience of 11.8 million.
There’ll be more ratings to come with NBC’s The Voice, ABC’s Dancing With The Stars and more later, but it looks like ESPN won the night overall with MNF. As it is, last night’s close game peaked with am 8.2 MM rating in the 9:45-10:15 PM ET slot.