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Week 16 SNF rating surges 40 percent vs. last year

Kansas City Chiefs v Seattle Seahawks

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 23: Nick Vannett #81 of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates his touchdown with a fan during the second quarter of the game aganst the Kansas City Chiefs at CenturyLink Field on December 23, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

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It was a memorable Week 16. And a watchable Week 16.

The prime-time game on NBC between the Chiefs and Seahawks, a contest featuring plenty of playoff implications, generated an overnight rating 40 percent higher than last year’s Week 16 night game on NBC, via SportsMediaWatch.com.

In 2017, the league had scheduled the Vikings-Packers game for Saturday night. With Aaron Rodgers injured, the Packers struggling, and the Vikings on track for the playoffs, the not-very-compelling 2017 matchup produced a 9.0 rating. This year, Chiefs-Seahawks pushed the number to 12.6.

It was the highest Week 16 prime-time rating for NBC since 2014, 13 percent higher than a Chiefs-Broncos game played on Christmas night in 2016.

That wasn’t the only significant increase. The late-afternoon Steelers-Saints game on CBS drew a 15.3 overnight rating. That’s 13 percent higher than 2017 (Seahwks-Cowboys) and 74 percent more than 2016 (Bucs-Saints). Both years, FOX had the 4:25 p.m. ET game for Week 16.

And so, yet again, it has been proven that people will watch good, compelling games. There will be plenty of those in Week 17, and throughout the postseason.