The New England Patriots 13-9 win over the Dallas Cowboys in Week 12 was the most watched NFL regular season game over the past decade.
According to Sports Media Watch, the game between the reigning Super Bowl champions and America's team averaged a 19.5 overnight rating on FOX, which tied the highest regular season NFL overnight since Patriots-Colts on CBS since 2007. It also matched the Seahawks-Cowboys game in 2015.
"Overall, (Patriots-Cowboys) ranks as television’s highest rated program in the metered markets since the Academy Awards on ABC in February (20.6) and the highest rated sporting event since the Super Bowl. No non-NFL sporting event has had a higher overnight since Game 7 of the Cubs-Indians World Series in 2016 (25.2)."
In a game that included two of the most hated and beloved teams across the country, it's a bit of a surprise that their Week 12 game earned the overnight rating that it did. Though the game did involve two very good teams that only face each other once every four years, the game had a lot of sloppy play and only 22 total points, mostly because of very poor weather conditions. One can imagine how high the overnight rating might have been if the weather conditions benefitted both teams a bit more, which could have led to more points and big plays.