The NFL’s opening Thursday night game got disappointing TV ratings for a league that is battling perceptions of rapidly declining popularity.
NBC announced a 13.4 overnight rating for the Super Bowl champion Eagles’ last-second win over the Falcons. That was way down from the 14.6 for Chiefs-Patriots last year, which itself was way down from a 16.5 for Panthers-Broncos the year before, which itself was way down from a 17.7 for Steelers-Patriots the year before that.
Are there extenuating circumstances? Sure. Kickoff was delayed by almost an hour because of thunderstorms in Philadelphia, and the game was a sloppy, penalty-filled…