First Call: Huge TV ratings for Steelers; Pittsburgh names to bet on the Dallas QB spot; Honoring Marian Hessa for pens

Thursday’s “First Call” contains some flashy TV ratings numbers for the 2022 season opener Pittsburgh Steelers. Bill Belichick offers some thoughts on the Steelers without TJ Watt.

A few Pittsburgh names are linked to the Dallas Cowboys job at QB.

And the penguins will be sucked into some big festivities during the upcoming National Hockey League schedule.

Where does it go from here?

The first weekend of NFL action popped up in droves across the United States. And the Steelers-Bengals game was a big contributor.

as To watch sports media, CBS rated 8.7 and 17.39 million viewers across the network and broadcast platforms for the one-day-window featuring the Steelers winning overtime in Cincinnati. This represents a 16% increase in ratings and 21% in viewership as of 2021. This is CBS’s most-watched early window in the first week of the season since 1998.

In the afternoon, FOX averaged 9.2 and 18.55 million – up 10% in ratings and 12% in viewership over last year.

The NBC Sunday Night Buccaneers’-Cowboys game was a big win, too. It has an average rating of 12.3 and 23.3 million viewers. Sports Media Watch said this is SNF’s first appearance on linear television since the Giants Cowboys five years ago (24.37 million). Exploiting streaming viewership (which isn’t tracked by Nielsen ratings), the game averaged 25 million, making it the most-watched season since 2015, as did the Giants-Cowboys (26.77 million).

The numbers indicate a rapid turnaround from the 21 million who first watched Thursday night between the Buffalo Bills and the Los Angeles Rams. this number decreased 4 million From the Cowboys-Bucs game Thursday night to begin last season.

But, given the Cowboys’ extensive national fan base and the Tom Brady factor, it’s no surprise that Buffalo and Los Angeles didn’t have quite as much of a tie. Especially with that match happening while rush hour was still going on in Los Angeles.

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local relations

To no one’s surprise, there are at least a few names that Pittsburgh connections associate with the Cowboys quarterback position. Duck Prescott 4-8 weeks out Thanks for the broken thumb. Cooper Rush is set to take over. But if those names don’t have enough zip files for Dallas, Put up some other candidates with gambling odds attached to them.

The favorite among the prospects for the next quarterback Dallas will get is Garrett Gilbert at 4/1. He was with the Cowboys as recently as 2020. The next name on the list is Ben DiNucci at 5/1.

After Pete and James Madison attended, producer Payne Richland was selected by the Cowboys in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He played in three games and set a 0-1 record.

Mason Rudolph has 14/1 odds of being traded with the Cowboys. Even Ben Roethlisberger is on the board at 50/1 odds of coming out of retirement and signing with Jerry Jones.

Big Ben isn’t even the biggest long shot on the board. This is Drew Bryce or Andrew Luck at 66/1.

down memory lane

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick prepares to take on the Steelers defense without TJ Watt.

As much as it would look different without Watt in uniform, Belichick doesn’t think the structure itself would change.

During his press conference, Belichick expressed his surprise that it has been three years since his club last played for the Steelers. This was a 33-3 defeat of the Patriots when the Steelers went to Foxborough to open the 2019 season.

Even rarer, this would be the first Bates Steelers game without both Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady in uniform since December 6, 1998. On that day, Steelers defense Drew Bledsoe intercepted three times. But Dennis Erickson’s defense caught Jerome Pettis at 48 yards, and Cordell Stewart was only 21 of 45 for 206 yards and two interceptions. The final was the Patriots, 23-9.

Raise his share number

The 81st Chicago Blackhawks retired to Marian Hossa on November 20.

Guess who the team will be on the other side of the ice.

Yes, Hossa was a Penguins attacker for the domestic extension of the 2008 NHL season. His superb and near-goal play at Bourne won Game 6 of the 2008 Stanley Cup Final against Detroit over Penguin fans.

But Hessa fled to those same red wings after that streak. Then, of course, the Pens beat Hosa and the wings in the Cup 09 final, as Penguins fans harassed the Hosa nonstop.

She then spent the next eight years’ quota in Chicago, winning three Stanley Cups in 2010, 13 and 15. Of the 525 goals Hossa scored, 186 were scored in Chicago.

The penguins will be close at hand Dustin Brown shirt retirement In Los Angeles, too. This is on December 11th. Also, the pens will participate in the Winter Classic outdoor game at Fenway Park against the Boston Bruins.

Tim Benz is a Tribune Review writer. You can contact Tim at or via Twitter. All tweets can be reposted. All emails are subject to posting unless otherwise stated.