Some surprising news broke yesterday when the NFL announced it was going to flex the Monday Night Football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots in Week 15 in favor of the Eagles when they trek to Seattle to take on the Seahawks. It marks the first time ever a Monday Night game has been flexed with this season being the first year the NFL can swap out both Thursday and Monday night contests.
You read that right. The NFL decided to take arguably the face of the league in Patrick Mahomes and the defending Super Bowl Champion Chiefs out of a primetime game for Jalen Hurts and the Eagles.
The Eagles are now the NFL’s poster team
Despite stating the obvious that the Eagles-Seahawks matchup will be more entertaining after we saw Seattle have Dallas on the ropes Thursday night compared to the terrible Patriots and lackluster Chiefs offense, this move also proves that the league and television companies know that the Eagles are drawing the most eyes to the screens this season.
The Eagles’ impressive come-from-behind win against the Chiefs on Monday Night Football in Week 13 was the most-watched Monday Night Football game in 27 years, averaging more than 29 million viewers across the ESPN family per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
For an encore, last week’s thrilling overtime win over the Bills saw even greater viewership than the Chiefs-Eagles contest, reaching 31 million viewers on CBS. That game, which was played the Sunday after Thanksgiving, ranks third of any game of this season trailing the two afternoon games on the holiday featuring the Lions-Packers and Commanders-Cowboys where it’s a ritual to have football on in the background while indulging in all the festivities with family and friends.
The newly added primetime game for the Eagles will be their fifth of the season. After this Sunday’s clash against the Niners, the Eagles have a showdown at Dallas on Dec 10 on Sunday Night Football in Week 14 and now the Monday Night Football game at Seattle. In primetime games this season (Thursday, Sunday and Monday Night) the Eagles are 4-0.
Philadelphia finds a way to win. Has it been pretty most of the season? Absolutely not. Are they blowing out teams like they did on their way to the Super Bowl? Nope.
However, this team has an “it” factor about them that has captivated not only the fan base, but also the country with the viewership numbers to back it up.
This Eagles team hasn’t garnered the respect from national talking heads and media outlets for being the best team in the league despite a 10-1 record and despite entering this Sunday’s game winners of five straight which includes three consecutive wins over the Cowboys, Chiefs and Bills.
Perhaps non-Eagles fans tune in to root for this team to finally lose. Maybe some tune in to figure out how this team has been able to find various ways to win games despite being outgained.
However, the NFL and its cable network partners know that they are the best team for the nation to watch.
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel