The Buffalo Bills-Detroit Lions early afternoon Thanksgiving game was a giant success for CBS as far as ratings go.
Per NFL tradition, the Lions once again hosted the first of three Thanksgiving Day NFL games at Ford Field. Josh Allen and the visitors won a last-second thriller 28-25 thanks to a late field goal by kicker Tyler Bass.
On Friday, CBS revealed the astronomical viewership numbers for the Bills game. It was the most-watched NFL game on the network so far this season with 31.627 million viewers. The game reached a peak audience of almost 42 millions, up 12 percent from last year’s game.
Detroit entered Thursday’s tilt on a three-game winning streak, coming off a 31-18 upset road win over the likely playoff-bound New York Giants. But with their winning streak ending in heartbreaking fashion, it looks like Detroit’s playoff drought will extend to six seasons.
The Lions haven’t won a home game on Thanksgiving Day since the 2016, when they defeated the Minnesota Viking 16-13 in a low-scoring affair. The Vikings played the New England Patriots in the late evening slot on NBC last night, narrowly escaping with a 33-26 victory.
Detroit kicker Michael Badgley booted the game-tying 51-yard field goal with 23 seconds left. But the Bills needed just four plays and 21 seconds to drive 48 yards, and the possession ended with Bass kicking a 45-yarder that essentially iced the game.
The victory moved the Bills to 8-3 on the season, moving them half a game up on the Miami Dolphins for first in the AFC East. This was Buffalo’s third appearance on Thanksgiving Day in both four years, as they also beat the Dallas Cowboys and the New Orleans Saints in 2019 and 2021, respectively.
The Lions will host the Jacksonville Jaguars next Sunday, while the Bills prepare for a pivotal road showdown against the Patriots next Thursday night.