Screen Shot 2013-12-29 at 11.38.36 PMAbout a month ago, when the Eagles-Bears game got flexed to Sunday Night Football, one NY Post writer, dismissing the fact that Philly and Chicago are the third and fourth largest markets, expressed surprise at the notion that the Patriots and Ravens – Tom Brady and Joe Flacco – originally scheduled to be on SNF, were bumped in favor of Nick Foles and Jay Cutler. As if quarterbacks are the only reason people watch football games.

The Eagles, it turns out, are a huge draw– they played in both the most-watched Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football games this season.

From Peter King’s MMQB:

Sunday Night Football averaged 21.7 million viewers (up from 21.4 million in 2012) for its 19 NFL regular-season telecasts, the second-best viewership mark in NBC’s eight seasons of broadcasting the NFL’s Sunday primetime package. (The highest ever was 21.8 million, in 2010.)

The most watched SNF broadcast was the Eagles-Cowboys game on Dec. 29. It drew 27.4 million viewers.

ESPN said its 17 Monday Night Football telecasts averaged 13,679,000 viewers. It was the third-most viewed season in ESPN’s eight years of presenting MNF. The network had six of cable’s 10 biggest audiences for the calendar year among viewers, and ESPN said eight times during its schedule it won the night as the most-watched network among households and total viewers—cable or broadcast—in prime time.

ESPN’s most-viewed MNF game came on Sept. 9 when 16,524,000 viewers watched the Eagles at Redskins season opener.

Granted, both games had a lot going for them– one was the season opener and featured RGIII’s return… the other was virtually a playoff game and featured the Cowboys. But, neither featured Peyton Manning or Tom Brady or the Patriots or the Giants or the Packers or any of the teams that got a bye in the NFL Playoffs.

The NFC East crushes it in ratings, and it’s not because of the quality of play. Not this year. It’s because of market size, draw, notoriety and, yeah, East Coast bias. It also doesn’t hurt having the most unique and talked about offense in the league. NBC loves you, Chip. And I love you, too.