Last night’s Thursday Night Football contest saw the Saints head to Dallas to take on the Cowboys. The game itself was entertaining, though in a more traditional NFL fashion than the Chiefs-Rams Monday night game from last week, as Dallas held off New Orleans 13-10 while demonstrating that defense isn’t quite yet dead.
Whether it was a revived interest in the Cowboys, the chance to watch the Saints take on a decent opponent, or something else, the game definitely hit a chord with viewers, to the tune of a very big ratings number for Fox:
Huge Thursday Night Football TV numbers last night: 14.6 overnight translates to the top overnight rating in "Thursday Night Football" history.
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) November 30, 2018
14.6 is a big number indeed, easily beating the impressive Packers-Seahawks overnight rating from a few weeks ago. It’s another sign that Fox’s choice to spend a ton of money on the Thursday Night Football package may indeed have been the right call.
Fox only has two more TNF games remaining this season, as Saturday games replace Thursday night games after Week 15. And next week’s Jaguars-Titans matchup probably doesn’t have the same kind of national pull that Saints-Cowboys had. But it’s still a strong finish for Fox, and the NFL itself has to be pleased as well. Except for the part where a massive national audience tuned in and saw some fairly incompetent officiating throughout the night, to the point that even Mike Pereira had to admit how bad it was.
“Can I disappear for a while?”
– Mike Pereira
The officiating was awful tonight. #NFL
— Josh Liles (@JoshLiles28) November 30, 2018
Football still has problems, including poor officiating. But that doesn’t mean the interest isn’t there; that 14.6 number would have easily beaten every game of the 2018 World Series and the 2018 NBA Finals, all for a 13-10 regular season defensive struggle. That’s a big win for everyone involved, aside from the Saints.