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Browns are the darlings of the NFL

Ratings for Thursday night’s comeback win were NFL Network’s highest since 2015.

NFL: New York Jets at Cleveland Browns Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

It started to build over the summer when the Cleveland Browns were featured on the HBO series Hard Knocks.

That exposure caught the attention of fans across the country who love nothing more than a great underdog story.

It took a couple of extra weeks, but that enthusiasm exploded on Thursday night as quarterback Baker Mayfield came off the bench and collaborated with a defense that grows funner by the week to grab a comeback win against the New York Jets.

The numbers are in, and according to the NFL, the game was the most-watched Thursday night game on the NFL Network in almost three years:

In addition, the game posted a:

  • 17 percent increase in ratings compared to last season’s Week 3 Thursday night game
  • Had a peak of 10.3 million viewers for the final six minutes of action
  • 43 percent increase in ratings compared to the average ratings of the network’s seven Thursday night games from last season
  • 24 percent increase in ratings compared to the Week 2 matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals.

Last night’s game was the Browns only scheduled primetime game of the season, but if the team can keep trending in the right direction, those ratings may turn the Browns into an attractive option later in the season to be flexed into a Sunday night game.

It’s a heck of a time to be a Browns fan, and judging by the ratings from last night’s game the rest of the country is catching on as well.