FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots returned to the field on Sunday following their bye week and defeated division rival Buffalo 37-31 at Gillette Stadium. While the Patriots never trailed in the game, the Bills attempted a late comeback that fell just short when Patriots DB Devin McCourty intercepted Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick in the end zone with 23 seconds remaining in regulation.
Sunday's game received a household television rating of 32.12 and continued an impressive streak that has seen the Patriots record household ratings of plus-30 for 24 consecutive games. The last time New England recorded a sub-30 rating was on Sept. 25, 2011, when the Patriots suffered a 34-31 loss against Buffalo. The 24-game streak, which includes the 2011 playoffs and Super Bowl, excludes the team's 2011 Week 10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in which ratings were unavailable due to the power outages caused by inclement weather.
The Patriots have now drawn household ratings of over 30 in every game of 2012 season. This marks the first time in franchise history that the team has received plus-30 ratings in every game throughout the first nine games of a season.
This weekend's game also received a household share of 59. The household share of 59 means that on average 59 percent of all televisions in use in the Boston market during the game were tuned in to the Patriots.
The 37-31 win improved the Patriots' record to 6-3 and provided further separation atop the AFC East. The Patriots will play back-to-back home games for the first time in 2012 when they take on the Indianapolis Colts (6-3) this coming Sunday. Originally scheduled for a 1:00 pm ET kickoff, Sunday's game has now been moved to a 4:25 pm ET start due to the NFL's flex scheduling and will be called by Jim Nantz and Phil Simms.