Tom Brady’s record-setting moment on the gridiron delivered big ratings for NBC during Week 4’s “Sunday Night Football” game last night. Viewership of the match-up between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium scored a 6.0 in the key, ages 18-49 demographic and garnered about 28.5 million eyes in the time-zone adjusted fast affiliate Live+Same Day numbers from Nielsen.
The game, which ended with a 19-17 close-call win favoring the Buccaneers, marked the largest NBC “Sunday Night Football” audience since Week 17 of the 2012 season when Dallas faced Washington for the NFC East title (30.3 million viewers). It was also the second most-watched NBC “Sunday Night Football” game since the package made its debut in 2006, and it delivered a 34 share (percentage of television in use tuned to the game), the highest for any game in the history of the package.
The high for the most-watched regular-season NFL game is the Dec. 3, 1990, showdown between the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers, which brought in 41.5 million viewers for ABC’s “Monday Night Football.” The second biggest high for a Sunday regular-season game is 33.8 million, the crowd that turned out for CBS’ coverage of the New England Patriots vs. Indianapolis Colts on Nov. 4, 2007.
Brady, quarterback for the Bucs and former Patriots star, added another impressive NFL stat to his resume as he set a league NFL career passing record during the game. He only needed 68 yards to surpass the previous record of 80,358 passing yards set in 2018 by New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees, according to ESPN. Brady’s record-notching moment was magnified by the kismet of it happening in the Foxborough, Mass., stadium where Brady spent most of his storied NFL career in a Patriots uniform before joining the Buccaneers last year. At 44, he is among the oldest NFL players in history. Just last month, he became the oldest starting QB to win an NFL game with the Buccaneers’ season-opening victory over the Dallas Cowboys.