Look What Happened to the NFL on a Night When No Anthem Protests HappenedOn Thursday night, united in anguish over the carnage in Las Vegas, the New England Patriots and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took part in a moment of silence before they took to the field. Then, they all stood for the national anthem, with nary a single player using “The Star-Spangled Banner” as a platform for protest.And — wonder of wonders — ratings went up for once.According to Deadline, Thursday night’s game “averaged an 11.1 overnight household rating on CBS and NFL Network. That was up +12 percent from last week’s season opener and up +26 percent from the corresponding (‘Thursday Night Football’) game (Arizona-San Francisco; 8.8) last fall.”As if to make the point that much more explicitly, last fall’s game featured our favorite kneeler/sitter in the NFL pantheon, then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.Compare Thursday night’s game with what happened Monday night — a game during which there were anthem protests in spite of the Vegas massacre just one night prior. The unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs were facing off against the surprisingly potent Washington Redskins, who were 2-1 and had managed to knock off Super Bowl contender Oakland just one week earlier.Both games were close — 19-14 in favor of the Patriots on Thursday night, 29-20 in favor of the Chiefs on Monday night. Both games featured marquee teams, although the Jameis Winston-led Buccaneers probably didn’t have the same drawing power as the Redskins, given that the Bucs’ two wins came over underwhelming Bears and Giants squads.Yet, according to Deadline, viewership for Chiefs-Redskins was down 16 percent in the 18-49 demographic and 13 percent overall, as well as being down 8 percent from a relatively pedestrian Giants-Vikings matchup last year.So, what’s the one thing that changed between Monday and Thursday? Anthem protests. That’s really the only variable that’s changed significantly in very similar matchups.Now, can we say for sure that it’s anthem protests? Not yet. After all, correlation isn’t causality.However, we’ve seen enough correlation that both league Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL anthem kneelers probably aren’t feeling all that good about Thursday’s numbers — in spite of the fact they went up.H/T The Daily CallerPlease like and share on Facebook and Twitter with your thoughts on these ratings numbers.What are your thoughts on these ratings? Scroll down to comment below!
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