Monday Night Football Eagles Chiefs Jalen Hurts Nov 20, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) runs the ball against Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Mike Danna (51) during the second half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Week 11’s Philadelphia Eagles-Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl rematch on Monday Night Football had been hyped all season. The game finally happened this week, and the Eagles’ 21-17 win set eye-popping marks for ESPN and the NFL.

For at least a couple of days, it’s the most-watched game of the 2023 NFL season. 29.021 million viewers watched the game over ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, ESPN+, and NFL+. In addition to setting the high water mark for this season, the game is the most-watched edition of MNF since 1996 (Packers-Cowboys, 31.5 million).

The previous most-watched MNF game this season came back in Week 1, when 22.6 million watched Bills-Jets. That was previously the most-watched MNF game in ESPN history.

That “since 1996” mark encompasses the entire run of MNF on ESPN, which began in 2006. It also covers nearly a full decade of games on ABC alone, taking us back to the era of Al Michaels, Dan Dierdorf, Frank Gifford, and Lynn Swann.

It’s wild to me that this MNF game was called by Troy Aikman, and it was the most-watched MNF game since one featuring Aikman as a player. Jalen Hurts wasn’t even born when that game took place, while Patrick Mahomes was a year old. Mahomes’ father Pat, who retired 20 years ago, still had several seasons left as an MLB relief pitcher.

The positive news about MNF in Week 11 will likely be tempered by future weeks of the package. Week 12 features the three-win Bears taking on the Vikings. Week 13 sees the Joe Burrow-less Bengals taking on the Jaguars. In Week 14, MNF has a pair of games airing simultaneously, featuring three sub-.500 teams.

Week 15 sees the Chiefs taking on the two-win Patriots, while Week 16  could be another Super Bowl preview between the Ravens and 49ers. The announced schedule concludes in Week 1 with Lions-Cowboys.


About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.