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Panthers-Texans Game Reportedly Brought In Massive Ratings

Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold on Sunday.

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 12: Sam Darnold #14 of the Carolina Panthers looks on prior to the game against the New York Jets at Bank of America Stadium on September 12, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images)

Thursday Night Football has and will always have its critics. But the ratings are indicating that it won't be going away anytime soon.

Last night's Panthers-Texans games absolutely crushed it in the ratings. The game totaled 7.9 million viewers and was the most-watched NFL Network-exclusive Thursday Night Football game since 2018.

It was also the most popular broadcast in the country yesterday too. The game was reportedly the most-watched telecast of September 23.

Thursday's game also saw a massive boost from last year's Week 3 broadcast. It recorded a 35-percent ratings edge over the New York Giants vs. Washington Football Team in 2020.

Granted, the teams on the field were a little more compelling than last year's.

Thursday Night Football has garnered a ton of critics over the years for a variety of reasons. Arguably the biggest is the lack of rest and practice time in between Sunday and Thursday.

For years, the NFL often used Thursday Night Football for throwaway games among the league's cellar dwellers.

But in recent years, the NFL has placed bigger and more compelling games on the mid-week timeslot. And one way or another, the results are playing out exactly as the league wants it to.

In the weeks ahead we have the Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Chargers going at it. That might break records for viewership.

Like it or hate it, Thursday Night Football is here to stay.