Curse you, NFL Network.
The New York Jets defeated the New England Patriots 34-31 in overtime, but hardly anyone got to see the game, the ending or whether Belichick graciously shook hands with the man genius after the game.
I exaggerate. Millions likely saw the game, and not just those who've ponied up for the NFL Network or went out to a sports bar. The game aired locally (and freely) on a local broadcast station in both the New York and New England regions, so its cumulative viewing totals could still be pretty decent. It will also likely cause some havoc with the overnight numbers for tomorrow morning depending what stations the game aired on in the local markets.
One great game isn't likely to get me to spring for the NFL Network, and I consider myself a pretty big sports fan. Unfortunately, after perusing the Thursday and Saturday games that will air on the NFL Network, most just don't look that interesting; though the last game on Saturday December 20 could be interesting -- Baltimore vs. Dallas. But, if it winds up a situation where Dallas winning that game keeps the Redskins out of the playoffs...sports bar.
I understand why the NFL wants its own network, and that it dreams of making us buy any and all games someday. For now it sure seems that the NFL would make much more money simply by licensing the Thursday game to one of the broadcast or cable networks and making it available to many more people than what it makes via the NFL Network.
Still, having that great of a game kick off the Thursday schedule is great news for the NFL Network. Update: D'oh! Obviously the Browns/Broncos game kicked off the NFL Network schedule last week. But that was a good game, too (dramatic three touchdown comeback in fourth quarter) unless you are a Browns fan.