NBC's wild 'Wild Card Saturday' up 9 percentby jmaloni
Colts' comeback best Saturday afternoon AFC wild card game in 15 years
Saints' victory is No. 2 primetime wild card game of all time
Saturday's thrilling NBC "Wild Card Saturday," featuring two playoff games decided by two points or less on the same day for the first time in NFL postseason history, averaged a combined 18.7 overnight rating and 32 share - up 9 percent from last year (17.2/31), and ranking as the second-best "Wild Card Saturday" under the current TV format (since 2002).
The combined 18.7/32 average overnight ranks No. 2 behind only the Jan. 8, 2011, "Wild Card Saturday" on NBC (19.6/33 average for two one-score games: Saints-Seahawks in NFC followed by Jets-Colts in AFC) since the NFL implemented the current "Wild Card Saturday" TV windows in January 2002 (2001 NFL season).
Best Saturday afternoon AFC Wild Card Game since '99
The Indianapolis Colts' wild 45-44 come-from-behind victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the early game, highlighted by the second-largest comeback in NFL playoff history (28 points), and the most combined yardage in an NFL postseason game (1,049 yards), earned a 17.2/31 overnight - the best for a Saturday afternoon AFC Wild Card game since 1999, and up 6 percent from last season (16.2/31 for Houston's 19-13 win over Cincinnati). The telecast (4:30-8 p.m. ET) peaked with a 21.3/36 overnight rating for the exciting conclusion from 7:30-8 p.m.
The 17.2/31 for the Colts' victory over Kansas City, highlighted by Andrew Luck's 443 passing yards and four touchdown throws, and T.Y. Hilton's 13 receptions for 224 yards and two scores, is the highest overnight for a Saturday afternoon AFC Wild Card since the Jan. 2, 1999, Buffalo-Miami game (17.9/37 on ABC). In that game, Dan Marino and the Dolphins won 24-17 after Miami's defense stopped a Doug Flutie-led Bills drive on the Miami 5-yard line with 17 seconds remaining.
Second-best overnight ever for primetime wild card
The New Orleans Saints' 26-24 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on the final play of the primetime NFC Wild Card posted a 20.5/33 overnight, up 12 percent from last year (18.3/30 for Green Bay's 24-10 win over Minnesota), and the second-best overnight ever for a primetime Wild Card game. The NFC Wild Card (8:15-11:15 p.m. ET) overnight rating peaked at a 22.2/36 for the game's climactic finish from11-11:15 p.m.
The 20.5/33 overnight for the Saints' first road playoff victory in franchise history - led by quarterback Drew Brees (10 for 12 for 152 yards and a touchdown in the second half) and kicker Shayne Graham (four field goals, including the game winner as time expired) - ranked second among primetime NFL Wild Card games behind NBC's telecast of the New York Jets' 17-16 defeat of the Indianapolis Colts on Jan. 8, 2011 (20.8/33), on a field goal on the last play of what would be Peyton Manning's final game as Colts QB.
Top 10 Metered Markets for Chiefs-Colts:
1. Kansas City, 48.0/69
2. Indianapolis, 41.3/62
3. Denver, 28.0/49
4. New Orleans 24.9/38
5. Seattle 21.6/45
5. Richmond 21.6/35
7. Sacramento, 21.5/42
7. Norfolk, 21.5/33
9. Buffalo, 21.0/35
10. Dayton, 20.9/35
Top 10 Metered Markets for Eagles-Saints:
1. New Orleans, 55.8/74
2. Philadelphia, 42.0/60
3. Richmond, 27.3/40
4. Denver, 26.9/43
5. Seattle 26.7/45
6. Sacramento, 26.4/41
7. Greensboro, 24.8/35
8. Memphis, 24.4/34
9. Charlotte, 24.0/37
9. Baltimore, 24.0/36
9. San Diego, 24.0/43