The Sean McDermott coaching era got off to a decent but hardly spectacular start in the Nielsen TV ratings.
The Buffalo Bills' 21-12 season opening victory over the New York Jets Sunday had a preliminary rating of 33.5 on WIVB-TV (Channel 4), the local CBS affiliate. The rating was delayed because Nielsen's facility in Florida was affected by Hurricane Irma.
The 33.5 rating is a good one for any TV program but it is on the low side of Bills games. By comparison, the Bills' 13-7 road loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the 2016 season opener had a 36.4.
The terrific weather Sunday, the fact 70,000 fans were at New Era Field and the diminished expectations for the team may account for part of the 8 percent drop-off. The game started with a 28.5 rating at 1 p.m. and hit a high of 36.9 at 2 p.m.
Kansas City's upset of New England on NBC last Thursday night experienced a similar national ratings drop-off. But that can't be blamed on Buffalo. WGRZ-TV (Channel 2) was in the Top 10 NBC markets for the game with about a 17.7 rating. Of course, Bills fans had two extra reasons to watch – their dislike of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and because the Bills own the Chiefs No. 1 draft choice next season.