After the Buffalo Bills' 34-14 victory over the Oakland Raiders four nights ago raised playoff hopes, the Bills' Thursday Night Football game with the New York Jets might have been expected to be the top-rated game of the season.
The Jets' dominating performance in a 34-21 victory prevented that from happening by a slim margin.
The game had a combined rating of 40.3 on WIVB-TV (34.3) and The NFL Network (6.0), which was only a half-point lower than the season-high 40.8 rating for the Bills win over the Raiders.
The Bills-Jets game appeared headed for a record rating until 11:15 p.m., when the rating on WIVB (Channel 4) dropped by 8.5 points as the Jets held a decisive lead.
The Buffalo Sabres' 5-4 victory over Arizona, which had a 10 p.m. start, had only a 2.0 rating on MSG. The late start didn't help, nor did the fact the Sabres appeared to be have a comfortable 5-1 lead before a late Coyotes rally.