Patriots

Patriots-Bucs draws huge ratings for NBC on "Sunday Night Football"

Patriots

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady's much-anticipated return to Foxboro to take on his former team, the New England Patriots, drew massive ratings on NBC's "Sunday Night Football".

Brady's Bucs earned a hard-fought 19-17 win in rainy conditions at Gillette Stadium. The 44-year-old quarterback also broke the NFL's career passing yards record and became the fourth QB ever to beat all 32 teams.

This matchup averaged approximately 28.5 million viewers (including streaming). Here are some historical notes, per NBC Sports PR:

The 2012 game referenced above was a Week 17 matchup on "Sunday Night Football" between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Football Team with the NFC East title at stake.

Sunday night's Week 4 matchup between the Patriots and Bucs also drew huge audiences in local markets throughout New England and Florida, as shown in the graphic below:

The Patriots are 1-3 for the first time since 2001. They'll try to get back in the win column Sunday afternoon with a Week 5 game against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium.