The NFL’s Week 1 Viewership Statistics Show Growth Over the Last 2 Years.

Yes he won, barely.

In a league that has seen its share of scandals (Antonio Brown has been on a roll lately), it still appears as though the NFL is growing in popularity.

Early games were relatively even in viewership numbers compared to what they were at over the last two years (15.9 rating). It’s the kind of statistical non-starter you’d expect to see from both the tail end of a heavy news week and less than stellar early game matchups. Ravens-Dolphins and Chiefs-Jaguars were the two big early matchups and both ended up being fairly one-sided affairs.

Unsurprisingly, the Cowboys-Giants game drew in a significant 16.9 rating, making it the most watched Week 1 game since the 2016 season. The Patriots-Steelers matchup also played pretty well with fans (even if the game wasn’t too exciting) coming in with a 14.9 rating.

The NFL has done a good job in recent years with Week 1 scheduling, attempting to get some of the biggest matchups in front of audiences yearning to see football return to their TVs and streaming devices. Bears-Packers, Patriots-Steelers and Giants-Cowboys are about the strongest matchups you can get in one week. The Patriots-Cowboys matchup in late November will likely break viewership records for a Week 12 game, assuming both teams are well into the playoff hunt.

On the betting side of things, the most likely Super Bowl matchup still appears to be Patriots-Saints at +1240. 5 of the 6 most likely Super Bowl matchups have the Patriots as AFC champions and the top 12 matchups feature either the Patriots or Chiefs.