Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday night’s preseason opener between the Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos was not exactly pretty.

With both teams resting their starters for the annual Hall of Fame Game, the product lacked entertainment value and intrigue.

Even then, the game absolutely dominated its counterparts on primetime television.

The whole narrative that’s been thrown out in recent years concluding that the NFL has grown less popular can now be thrown out the window.

Less than a handful of starters played in a game that has usually been reserved for training camp fodder to show what they can offer. Very few of those on the field in Canton are known to the average football fan

Even then, it took the No. 1 primetime slot on a Thursday night. Pretty impressive stuff.

NBC Sports also notes that Denver represented the highest-rated local market with Atlanta barely making it within the top 10. We’re not too sure what to read into that, but it is interesting.

In the end, Denver came out on top by the score of 14-10 in a penalty-filled game.