What was the most watched NFL regular season game?

Turns out the New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game was the most watched regular season NFL game in history. That is correct. History!

Counting streaming, because that is a growing area for how viewers consume content, 42 million people watched the game. When you consider Dallas pulled away in the second-half but the audience held, it is quite a statement as to how the most popular sports leagues in the USA holds an audience. Although some might add, with legalized betting, that is another reason the league holds sway over the country. And that is a subject for another day, as the Giants late-game TD proved costly to those who bet the Cowboys, a 10-point favorite.

To put the game’s ratings in perspective, the regular season contest blew out the sixth and final game of the World Series, won by the Houston Astros over the Philadelphia Phillies. That game attracted only 12.5 million viewers. In other words, baseball is as much America’s National Pastime as boxing and horse racing. It’s not. The NFL is king, followed by college football. Everyone else comes in a distant second. That is why, even in a tenuous economy, advertisers keep running to the NFL.

Don’t expect the blueprint to change anytime soon.

NFL Thanksgiving Day predictions

I have never been good at predicting games and that is why I make few predictions. Forecasting the outcome is an inexact science. After all, that is why they play the games. Nevertheless, predicting games can be fun, especially if you don’t have money on the outcome.

So here goes. My predictions on today’s NFL Thanksgiving Day games.

  • The Lions will beat the Bills. Detroit has won three straight and is playing at home. Granted, the Bills are picked by many to make it to the Super Bowl and did win at Ford Field over the Browns on Sunday, when the game was moved their because of the snowstorm in Buffalo, but I like the Lions.
  • Dallas over the Giants. This is tough, because I am a longtime Giants fan, but I cannot pick with my heart here. The Giants are one of the surprise teams this season, but last week for the first time lost a game they should have won, falling to Detroit at home. Plus Dallas has New York’s number, is riding high after that dominant win Sunday at Minnesota and is playing home on Thanksgiving. Enough said.
  • Minnesota to beat the Patriots. Look for a bounce back game from a very good Vikings club. Yes, the Pats are a surprising 6-4 and have the GOAT coach, but their offense is practically nonexistent and the Vikes are playing at home. Can the Pats pull a rabbit out of their hat? Of course, but I don’t see it happening here.

These are my outright selections sans point spread. Enjoy the games and Happy Thanksgiving.