Traina Thoughts: NFL Ratings Problem Is Not Getting Better

2:19 | NFL
Alex Smith steps up with Patrick Mahomes on his heels
Friday September 8th, 2017

The best of the Internet, plus musings by SI.com writer, Jimmy Traina. Get the link to a new Traina's Thoughts each day by following on Twitter and liking on Facebook. Catch up on previous editions of Traina Thoughts. And check Jimmy Traina's weekly podcast, "Off The Board," on iTunes, SoundCloud and Stitcher.

1. If last night is any indication, NFL ratings are going to be a big story again in 2017. The Presidential election took a big chunk of viewers last year, with the league's ratings down 14 percent pre-election on Nov. 8 and just one percent post-election. However, the rating for last night's Chiefs-Patriots game was down considerably from past season openers.

Were people watching Hurricane Irma coverage instead? Are people still glued to cable news to keep up with what's going on in the White House? Or does the NFL have a problem with its product? If the hated Patriots getting their asses kicked couldn't bring in a big number, what will? This will be a storyline that gets a lot of play if those numbers continue. 

Meanwhile, NBC's PR department tried its best to spin the weak number, but the effort was a tad cringeworthy.

* UPDATE: As I predicted Friday morning on Twitter, despite the low rating, NBC is touting is streaming numbers for the game.

2. As for the Chiefs impressive 42-27 upset over the Patriots, the stats to come out of the game were just staggering. For instance:

* The Patriots were 105-0 when leading going into the fourth quarter at home during the Tom Brady era.

* The Patriots were 81-0 when leading at halftime at Gillette Stadium in regular season.

* 42 points were the most ever given up in a game by a Patriots team coached by Bill Belichick.

* The Chiefs had one offensive play go for 75 or more yards last season. They had two touchdowns of 75 yards against the Patriots.

3. Each Friday, I'm going to give you some NFL Week. Here are three for Week 1:

Packers -3 vs. Seahawks: I'm high on Green Bay this year. I like them having an early test at home. Aaron Rodgers has a lot of weapons.

Rams -4 vs. Colts: Two words: Scott Tolzien. Who knows what Jared Goff will do this season, but Wade Phillips' defense should feast against Tolzien, who will start in place of Andrew Luck.

Saints +3.5 at Vikings: New Orleans made a ton of changes, but Drew Brees remains. We'll take him over Sam Bradford in this matchup.

4. The Craig Carton saga continues. On top of his arrest earlier this week for a Ponzi scheme, the New York Post reports that the WFAN radio host allegedly used his charity for some questionable activities.

5. The Indians 15-game winning streak has cost a window company $1.7 million in free repairs.

6. Roman Reigns and John Cena will meet at an upcoming WWE pay-per-view event, but they've been feuding on Twitter. Reigns got in a good shot at Cena over his numerous weightlifting videos that get a lot of pickup in the blogosphere.

7. Jimmy Fallon's Superlatives were back last night, targeting Chiefs and Patriots players.

8. This week's Off The Board podcast features SI's Richard Deitsch. We talked about the Carton situation, Mike Francesa, NFL media stories to watch in the 2017 season, Ed Cunningham quitting his job with ESPN over concerns about the violence in football and much more. You can listen below or on iTunes, SoundCloud or Stitcher.

9. RANDOM WRESTLING VIDEO OF THE DAY: With John Cena engaged in a war of words with Roman Reigns, let's remember time Cena got taken down by a Rock sing-a-long.

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