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Bills strong TV rating virtually the same as the week before

After all the speculation about how the protest by some Buffalo Bills during the National Anthem before the Denver game a week earlier would impact this Sunday's TV ratings, the Bills 23-17 upset of the Atlanta Falcons had virtually the same rating as the upset of the Broncos.

The Bills win over Atlanta had a 36.8 rating on WIVB (Channel 4), the local CBS affiliate. The win over Denver had a 36.9 rating on the same station.

Sunday's game started with a 30.9 rating, which is low by Bills standards. But it grew to a 37.1 at halftime and ended with a 41.5 rating.

The 36.8 rating is about 7 percent lower than the 39.7 rating for the fourth game of last season but that game was a victory over the hated New England Patriots without a suspended Tom Brady.

Gumbel, Green add to understandable confusion during Bills-Falcons

The ratings for other NFL games played Sunday were a mixed bag.

Denver's victory over the Raiders – who ended the game with former Bills quarterback EJ Manuel replacing an injured Raider quarterback Derek Carr – had a higher than usual 19.4 rating following the Bills game.

Tampa Bay's victory over the New York Giants had a low 3.7 rating on WUTV (Channel 29), the local Fox affiliate, opposite the Bronco-Raiders game.

Seattle's 46-18 second-half blowout victory over the Indianapolis Colts on "Sunday Night Football" had a lower-than-usual 13.7 rating on WGRZ-TV (Channel 2), the local NBC affiliate.

To put the football ratings in perspective, the top-rated entertainment prime time program Sunday was CBS' "60 Minutes" with a 12.2 rating on Channel 4 fueled by the football lead-in. The second-highest rated entertainment program was CBS' heavily-promoted "Wisdom of the Crowd," with a 9.6.


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