Patriots-Broncos Was Highest-Rated AFC Championship Game In 29 Years

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It turns out the 17th and possibly final installment of Tom Brady versus Peyton Manning drew quite a crowd.

The Denver Broncos’ 20-18 win over the New England Patriots on Sunday was the most-watched AFC Championship Game in 29 years, per CBS. The game drew a 31.8 rating, which equates to about 37 million viewers, per Yahoo! Sports’ Shalise Manza Young. That’s up 9 percent from last season’s NFC Championship Game between the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers, which was in the 3 p.m. ET slot.

The last AFC title game to earn numbers like Sunday’s was the 1986 game between the Broncos and Cleveland Browns, which is known for “The Drive.” Denver marched 98 yards down the field to put the game in overtime and earn the 23-20 win, and the game ended with a 31.9 overnight rating.

Thumbnail photo via Chris Humphreys/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning talk after the AFC Championship football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

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