Thursday night’s NFL preseason game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns was an abominable display of football. The Browns prevailed, 5-0, and Baker Mayfield was briefly anointed as the starter after a Tyrod Taylor injury scare.
While the on-field action was a snooze, there was some intrigue. The defending Super Bowl champions and the No. 1 overall pick is a recipe for delicious ratings pie.
And America did not disappoint, tuning in droves to see this 5-0 game.
Thursday’s Eagles-Browns NFL preseason game drew a 4.2 rating and 6.52 million viewers on FOX, marking the network’s highest rated and second-most watched preseason game since 2012 (49ers-Broncos: 4.5, 7.1M). A 2016 Cardinals-Texans game had slightly more viewers (6.68M).
Outside of the NFL Hall of Fame Game, the Browns 5-0 win was the most-watched weeknight preseason telecast on any network in four years, since Cleveland-Washington on ESPN four years ago (4.5, 6.90M).
It’s one game out of scores of preseason offerings, so let’s resist drawing huge conclusions about The Future of Football. I feel confident saying this though: it’s August and we want to see football. Any football.