USA Today's For the Win offered 13 reasons Sunday Night Football is the best program on television and looking at the results, it's hard to disagree. You have to go back to December 1994 for two weeks that compare to what we've seen on NBC the last two weeks. Not since Hall of Famers Steve Young, Troy Aikman, Jerry Rice, Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith and Deion Sanders suited up has there been so much excitement for consecutive weeks of NFL football in primetime.
Last weekend’s thrilling NBC Sunday Night Football contest, in which Tom Brady led the New England Patriots back from a 24-0 deficit to defeat Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, 34-31, in overtime, was the most-watched primetime show of the week, averaging 26.5 million viewers and drawing 28.1 million viewers for the telecast’s final 26 minutes from midnight-12:26 a.m. ET, according to official live plus same day national data released today by The Nielsen Company.
Coupled with last week’s 26.9 million viewers for Kansas City-Denver, NBC’s back-to-back SNF contests are the first consecutive primetime games in 20 seasons to post at least 26.5 million average viewers (not including NFL Kickoff games).
The excitement wasn't only on TV. Fans live streamed a record 21.3 million minutes of Manning-Brady XIV on NBC Sports Live Extra, the most for any NBC NFL regular-season game, trailing only the consumption of Super Bowl XLVI.