Patriots’ Blowout Is No. 4 Monday Night TV Audience This Season

Deion Branch #84 of the New England Patriots
Deion Branch #84 of the New England Patriots scores on a 25-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter against Antonio Cromartie #31 of the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on December 6, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Photographer: Elsa/Getty Images

The New England Patriots’ 45-3 blowout of the New York Jets drew an 11.2 overnight rating on ESPN, the fourth-highest of the 14 “Monday Night Football” telecasts this season.

National ratings will be released later today, the Walt Disney Co. network said.

The best overnight rating for a “Monday Night Football” game this season was 12.3 for the New York Giants’ Oct. 25 win over the Dallas Cowboys. That game drew 17.9 million viewers. The record for a cable television audience is 21.8 million for Brett Favre’s return to Green Bay during a Monday night game in October 2009.

While the Patriots-Jets matchup marked the fourth time in 40 years that National Football League teams with 9-2 records or better met on “Monday Night Football”, New England’s win equaled the second-biggest rout in the program’s history.

Overnight ratings measure the number of viewers in the biggest U.S. cities. Final national ratings include numbers from smaller television markets.

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