The Patriots' 13-9 win over the Cowboys was the highest-rated NFL game of the season. According to SBJ editor Austin Karp, the matchup finished with 29.5 million viewers. This the highest regular season viewership average since last Thanksgiving's Cowboys-Redskins game.
This is a massive number. And not topping a Thanksgiving matchup doesn't mean much as the holiday tradition games routinely draw increased viewership from what a specific game would draw on a regular Sunday.
This isn't mind-boggling to figure out. The Cowboys are the biggest draw, not just in the NFL, but in sports. Combine that with the Brady/Belichick Patriots, in a game that came down to the wire, the game closely resembled how the NFL would have written the outcome in Hollywood. The NFL has to be so happy that the bogus, controversial tripping call late in the game now won't be keeping Roger Goodell up at night.
And it gets better for the NFL: in two days the Cowboys play the Bills on Thanksgiving. The prediction here is will top this number and go over 30 million.