NBC rolled out the red carpet for their first Sunday Night Football on NBC of the season by showcasing Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Dallas Cowboys. And the ratings show that they made the right call.
Per NFL insider Dov Kleiman, Sunday Night Football had its largest audience for an opening game since 2015. A whopping 25 million viewers tuned in to see the Buccaneers defeat the Cowboys.
It wasn't even a particularly competitive game. The Buccaneers made quick and relatively easy work of the Cowboys, who lost star quarterback Dak Prescott to an injury in the second half. Tampa Bay won the game 19-3.
Perhaps it's a testament to the reach that the Cowboys and Tom Brady have that so many fans were glued to their seats even in a game that didn't even see a touchdown scored until the third quarter.
Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season was one for the history books to be sure.
There were a number of competitive games that were within a score well into the second half, two that went to overtime, one of which ended in a tie while another ended on a game-winning field goal as time expired.
We also saw a number of teams perform well below expectations, such as the Green Bay Packers, Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots.
If Week 1 was the appetizer than the rest of the season is going to be a very satisfying main course.