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Patriots’ victory over Broncos draws huge viewership, especially after midnight


You guys must have been tired Tuesday morning. But if you’re a Patriots fan, at least you were among fulfilled, if exhausted, company.

The Patriots’ epic 34-31 overtime victory over the Denver Broncos was the most-watched prime-time program of the week, averaging 26.5 million viewers.

That’s an impressive number, but not a particular surprise — NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” has had five telecasts this season average at least 25 million viewers. It’s the second week in a row that the SNF telecast averaged at least 26.5 million viewers — last week’s Chiefs-Broncos game averaged 26.9.

The game, featuring the 14th career matchup between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, was the sixth-most-watched game in the eight-year history of “Sunday Night Football.”

But the most impressive numbers were posted after midnight. The telecast averaged 28.1 million viewers during the 26 post-midnight minutes before Stephen Gostkowski’s winning 31-yard field goal. For Patriots fans, at least, the late night was more than worth the yawns the next day.

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