The ratings for this weekend's NFL games are in, and one thing is clear from looking at them: America loves Tim Tebow.
Sunday's Steelers-Broncos game drew an insane 25.9 rating, which was the highest for an NFL wild card playoff games since the Oilers and Seahawks playoff game in the 1987 season. It might have been more than just Tebow, because the game drew a 56.2 in Pittsburgh compared to just a 49.0 in Denver, both of which are insane numbers. That means over half the homes in Pittsburgh were tuned into the game. An average of 42.3 million people tuned into the game according to CBS, which is just shy of the last State of the Union Address.
As for the rest of the NFL playoffs, it was a mixed bag. Sunday's Giants-Falcons game, which turned into a blowout in the second half, drew just an 18.9, the lowest for a wild card game on Fox since 2008. The pair of NBC games, Lions-Saints and Bengals-Texans, were also down compared to last year's games, The Bengals-Texans game was down 16% from last year, and couldn't crack a 40 rating in either market. As for the Lions-Saints game, it was still down, albeit only 7% from last year and 2% from 2010. New Orleans and Detroit both supported their teams though, with New Orleans pulling in a 58.2 rating (which beats both the Pittsburgh and Denver numbers), and Detroit coming in at a solid 41.1.
Just one more note about Tebow and the ratings to add to the irony factor of everything. We all saw how Tebow threw for 316 yards, and how that just seemed appropriate, right?
The quarter hour overrun for the game that featured the game-winning touchdown from Tebow to Demaryius Thomas on the first play from scrimmage did a 31.6 rating. Now that's just a little too eerie.