Robert Griffin III Week One Return Could Equal Record Ratings for MNF

By Andrew Fisher
Robert Griffin III
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Surprisingly, there hasn’t been a ton of chatter on Robert Griffin III‘s return this summer. This can mainly be attributed to the fact that the quarterback is reportedly flying through rehab and way ahead of schedule. I’ve yet to see a report with any negative news on his surgically repaired right knee, so there’s really nothing to speculate about at this point. All indications are that he’ll be ready to go for week one.

Griffin’s first game back just so happens to be the Monday Night Football opener, where his Washington Redskins will host the divisional rival Philadelphia Eagles. Coincidence? I think not.

The NFL is clearly banking on this MNF game to be the return of RG3, and I don’t blame them at all. This is really just brilliant scheduling, and an opportunity for all parties involved to make some serious dough. ESPN/ABC are going to make out like bandits if Griffin can make it back, because this game has the potential to draw a record audience.

Ratings are always huge in week one, as fans are just clamoring for some football. The MNF opener is a big deal any year, and this year it will be multiplied with the return of one the game’s brightest stars.

There are two different MNF ratings records: the highest-rated game was in 1985 when the Miami Dolphins defeated the then undefeated Chicago Bears on December 2, 1985, which drew a 29.6 rating. That was when MNF was on ABC, and there were a lot less channels. Now that the game has moved to ESPN, the numbers just aren’t as high. In the cable era, the record belongs to the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers on October 5, 2009. This was Brett Favre‘s first game against his former team, and it drew a whopping 15.3 rating.

The 29.6 mark from 1985 is basically untouchable, but I think RG3’s return could give the cable era record a good run. This game is going to be hyped like no other, and even casual fans are going to want to see if Griffin is indeed back.


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