NBC said 11.6 percent of households tuned into the game, down from 12.9 percent who viewed the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys in last season's week three.
Week 3's Sunday slate was also entertaining with eight of the 10 afternoon games sailing over the total set by the sportsbooks.
To come up with overnight ratings, Nielsen takes the percentage of households watching in 56 US markets and comes up with an overnight average - so an 11.6, for instance, means that 11.6% of households in those 54 markets tuned into the game on NBC on Sunday night.More news: Rule of 10 For the Premier League
But even if ratings are down year-over-year, the early numbers also indicate that ratings for this week's slate of games could end up being better than they were for the season's first two weeks, even despite the controversy. The Sunday Night football matchup between the Redskins and the Raiders was down about 11 percent, and Fox's Giants vs. Eagles game was down 16 percent.
Snagging a 9.3 metered-market result and the best ratings of the season so far, last night's MNF was a thankful ratings touchdown for a league that has been losing ground in that metric so far this season and all of past year.
There may also be some evidence that Trump's feud with the National Football League anthem kneelers has caused viewers to tune in at the beginning of the game to see whether players stand or kneel, as ratings for pregame shows spiked significantly from past year. Both networks tackled the political news of the weekend.More news: China Curbs Oil Product Exports to North Korea, Bans Condensate
The protests are expected to continue through Monday Night Football as the Dallas Cowboys face the Arizona Cardinals.
"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color", Kaepernick said, to NFL.com at the time. "He's fired, '" Trump told a crowd in Alabama on Friday night.
The Nielsen figures also don't include numerous Sunday afternoon games that are shown to a regional audience, but not a national one.More news: Gunman dressed as clown kills 1, injures 7 in Nashville church shooting