FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The Patriots officially punched their ticket to the playoffs on Sunday with a resounding 41-7 win at the Baltimore Ravens, earning their 11th AFC East title in 13 years and fifth consecutive playoff berth.
CBS' broadcast of the victory topped the weekly local ratings with an average household rating of 35.9 in the Boston market, marking the 18th time that a Patriots telecast has finished atop the local ratings in 19 preseason and regular season games.
The only week that a Patriots broadcast did not finish first in the local ratings was in Week 9, when a 55-31 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers – which drew a season-high 40.3 average household rating – was topped by a 55.2 household rating from Game 6 of the 2013 World Series.
1.3 million viewers in the Boston area tuned in to watch Sunday's 4:25 p.m. contest, making it the fourth-most watched game of the 2013 season and the second-most watched game of that time slot. Patriots broadcasts have now seen an increase in viewership in four consecutive weeks. The last time that New England has seen increased ratings in four or more consecutive telecasts was in 2009, when five straight games saw a jump in ratings from Sept. 9 to Oct. 18.
The Patriots look to close out the regular season on a high note when they return to Gillette Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 29, for a 4:25 p.m contest against the Buffalo Bills. Jim Nantz and Phil Simms will once again provide the call for the telecast, which will be broadcast on CBS (WBZ in the Boston market).