Ezekiel Elliott, Saquon Barkley
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL continues to dominate the media landscape as it does every year. Football is king and shows it time and time again, with the latest proof coming via the league’s media viewership stats for the 2022 regular season.

Over 185 million people watched the NFL this year — 88 of the 100 most-watched TV programs of the 2022 calendar year were NFL games.

The most-watched regular season game of the year: Giants-Cowboys on Thanksgiving.

The pair of NFC East rivals brought in a whopping 42.1 million average viewers on that late-afternoon Turkey Day matchup, which saw the Cowboys defeat the Giants 28-20 to complete a second straight season sweep. The game was actually the most-watched regular-season matchup in NFL history, breaking a previous record (41.55 million) set during a Giants-49ers Monday Night Football game in December 1990.

Not surprisingly, the Cowboys were in four of the five most-watched games of the year. Their game against the Packers was the third most-watched game, while matchups with the Eagles (Christmas Eve) and Vikings were Nos. 4 and 5.

That’s America’s team, for you.

The one thing that’s surprising about the 2022 viewership stats, however, is the league’s average viewers per game are actually down. It was 16.7 million this past season compared to 17.1 million for the 2021 season, per The Athletic. You could possibly (at least partially) chalk that up to Thursday Night Football moving to its streaming-exclusive Amazon Prime format, leaving cable television (with the exception of local markets) completely.

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.