The 2021 NFL regular season averaged 17.1 million viewers (TV and Digital) – the highest regular-season average since 2015 and up more than 10% from 2020.
The Dallas Cowboys accounted for five of the top 10 ratings.
During the 2021 NFL regular season, NFL games ranked as the top 16, 48 of the top 50 and 91 of the top 100 telecasts on TV.
Throughout the season, there were 370 billion total minutes consumed which is up +18% vs. 2020 and the second-highest total on record behind only 2015.
For the first time, each NFL team played 17 regular season games, providing fans with an extra week of regular season NFL action.
"Featuring incredible play on the field and close contests, the 2021 regular season proved to be one of the most exciting and exhilarating of all-time," said Hans Schroeder, NFL Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, NFL Media. "This year's schedule, highlighted by an enhanced regular season featuring 17 games, gave our broadcast partners the ability to provide fans with more football and incredible matchups than ever. We look forward to a strong finish with the upcoming postseason and Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles."
During the 2021 NFL regular season, there were 34 games decided by a game-winning score on the final play – the most in a single season all-time – while 49 games were decided by a game-winning score in the final minute of regulation or overtime – tied for the most in a single season all-time. Additionally, 175 games – 64% of all games – were within one score (eight points) in the fourth quarter – tied for the fourth-most all-time.
Provided below is the list of the Top 10 most-watched NFL games during the 2021 regular season:
- Las Vegas Raiders vs. Dallas Cowboys (Week 12, CBS) – 40.8 million
- Dallas Cowboys vs. Kansas City Chiefs (Week 11, FOX) – 28.7 million
- Cleveland Browns vs. Green Bay Packers (Week 16, FOX+NFLN) – 28.6 million
- Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions (Week 12, FOX) – 28.2 million
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New England Patriots (Week 4, NBC) – 27.2 million
- Arizona Cardinals vs. Dallas Cowboys (Week 17, FOX) – 26.8 million
- Los Angeles Rams vs. Green Bay Packers (Week 12, FOX) – 25.2 million
- Dallas Cowboys vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Kickoff, NBC) – 25.2 million
- Green Bay Packers vs. Kansas City Chiefs (Week 9, FOX) – 25.0 million
- Dallas Cowboys vs. Los Angeles Chargers (Week 2, CBS) – 25.0 million
— NFL Communications