CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 11: Chris Crocker #42 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates with fans after the Bengals defeated the Cleveland Browns 27-17 at Cleveland Browns Stadium during a season opener on September 11, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Bengals defeated the Browns 27-17. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
According to the NFL, a record 107.4 million viewers watched NFL games at some point during kickoff weekend with three games (Saints and Packers, Giants and Redskins and Cowboys and Jets) pulling in at least 25 million viewers each; all three being the highest rated sporting events and top seven most-watched shows among all television programs since Super Bowl XLV.
NFL games also ranked tops inside of all 30 NFL markets.
As Jim Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer pointed out earlier this week, the Bengals dominated local television programming with "a 31.0 rating and 56% audience share" -- an increase over last year -- and the 11th highest rating for any game inside one of the local NFL markets. In other words more Cincinnatians watched the Bengals than Chicagoans watched the Bears, New Yorkers watching the Jets, Houstonians watching the Texans or even Philadelphians watching the Eagles.
So you're not fooling anyone Bengals fans. We might not be buying tickets in bulk, but damn it, we're paying attention.