NFL ratings, Week 2: Manning Bowl III dominant for CBS

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

CBS and Fox were down early, and NBC was down late, but it was all about the Manning Bowl for CBS.

Here's your weekly look at NFL ratings, which shows the pure dominance of the league from a local and national level.


It was business as usual for the two broadcast network pregame shows. Despite having the more attractive matchups at both 1 and 4 p.m. ET, The NFL Today only managed a 2.6, getting beaten by Fox NFL Sunday's 3.5. Today was even with Week 2 in 2012, while Fox was actually up a tick from a 3.4 from last year.

Fox (Regional Window)

Fox had the first split regional window of the season, meaning that some markets got a game at 1 p.m. ET, while others received one of two 4 p.m. ET games. So you had the four local markets (Detroit, Phoenix, New Orleans and Tampa Bay), the four markets that hosted a 1 p.m. ET CBS game (Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Houston) and a couple of others here and there.

The regional window, which featured Washington-Green Bay, Minnesota-Chicago and Dallas-Kansas City in much of the country, drew a 12.8 rating, down three percent from a 13.3 rating for last year's Week 2 regional window. Still, despite having the 'A' game be a blowout, and a New Orleans-Tampa Bay regional matchup that went well past 8 p.m. ET, Fox managed to have a decent showing in Week 2.

Top local markets for Fox regional window

Market Matchup Rating
1. Milwaukee Washington vs. Green Bay 41.7/68
2. New Orleans New Orleans vs. Tampa Bay 41.1/63
3. Kansas City Dallas vs. Kansas City 39.3/66
4. Chicago Minnesota vs. Chicago 31.9/60
5. Buffalo Carolina vs. Buffalo 29.8/54
6. Detroit Detroit vs. Arizona 29.8/48
7. Minneapolis Minnesota vs. Chicago 29.4/64
8. Dallas Dallas vs. Kansas City 25.2/51
9. Washington Washington vs. Green Bay 24.2/50
10. Atlanta St. Louis vs. Atlanta 21.2/43

CBS (1 p.m. ET Window)

The Eye network had some pretty solid, close games early, including a matchup between the much-buzzed about Eagles against the Chargers, as well as a crazy overtime matchup between the Titans and Texans. Despite this, CBS drew just a 10.7 overnight nationally, down seven percent from an 11.6 in 2012.

What caused the drop? Honestly, it's kind of curious. The games this year (Miami-Indianapolis, Cleveland-Baltimore, San Diego-Philadelphia, Tennessee-Houston) were way better than last year's (Indianapolis-Minnesota, Buffalo-Kansas City, Cincinnati-Cleveland, Houston-Jacksonville). It could just be that Fox had better games in their window early as well.

Top local markets for CBS 1 p.m. ET window

Market Matchup Rating
1. Indianapolis Miami vs. Indianapolis 34.8/59
2. Baltimore Cleveland vs. Baltimore 29.8/57
3. Philadelphia San Diego vs. Philadelphia 27.9/55
4. Cleveland Cleveland vs. Baltimore 27.2/55
5. San Diego San Diego vs. Philadelphia 25.5/50
6. Nashville Tennessee vs. Houston 25.5/45
7. Houston Tennessee vs. Houston 23.4/50
8. Miami Miami vs. Indianapolis 20.1/38
9. New Orleans San Diego vs. Philadelphia 19.8/34
10. West Palm Beach Miami vs. Indianapolis 16.5/32

CBS (4:25 p.m. ET Window)

Despite potential fatigue from Manning Bowl hype, and the fact that after the third quarter, the Broncos-Giants showdown was an absolute blockbuster for CBS. The game, which went out to 89 percent of the nation, drew a monster 17.8 overnight. That's a 23-percent gain from last year's late window (82 percent saw Steelers-Jets, which drew a 14.4) and the highest-rated regular-season game for CBS since Week 15 of the 2011 season, which was Tebow vs. Brady. Ha, remember when that was a thing?

The window, which also featured Jacksonville-Oakland, is the best rating for CBS' first late window of the season since 1998. The network is often considered a bit of a third wheel with Fox and NBC's flashy ratings and productions, but CBS combined a great college football rating with a great NFL rating to, more or less, win the weekend.

Market Matchup Rating
1. Denver Denver vs. NY Giants 43.0/70
2. Indianapolis Denver vs. NY Giants 29.6/46
3. Nashville Denver vs. NY Giants 25.4/41
4. Kansas City Denver vs. NY Giants 22.6/40
5. Knoxville Denver vs. NY Giants 22.6/38
6. Norfolk Denver vs. NY Giants 22.4/34
t7. New York Denver vs. NY Giants 21.4/40
t7. Baltimore Denver vs. NY Giants 21.4/40
9. West Palm Beach Denver vs. NY Giants 21.2/37
10. Memphis Denver vs. NY Giants 20.5/32

NBC (Sunday Night Football)

I'm throwing out the local numbers I received for Sunday night, because they only cover 8:30-11:30 p.m. ET, which obviously leaves out a lot of the game due to the weather delay. An NBC press release says the top-five markets were Seattle, Sacramento, San Francisco, Portland and New Orleans.

NBC hit a 13.6 rating for the long evening, still solid, but down two percent from Week 2's Lions-49ers game in 2012. That said, it was the highest-rated primetime matchup featuring two NFC West Coast teams since 1991. That was in November of that year, when the 49ers took on the Los Angeles Rams.

Also noteworthy, the 49ers-Seahawks hype helped grow the rivalry a bit nationally. Sunday's game was up eight percent from December 2012, the last time these two teams met on Sunday Night Football. At least they got some people back after that bonkers episode of Breaking Bad.

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