CBS's games included Green Bay's close-fought 27-24 overtime win over Cincinnati while NBC's Sunday night game featured Washington with a 21-0 lead over Oakland with less than five minutes into the third quarter.
The results come amid a day of sitting and kneeling protests by National Football League players after President Trump's attack on protesting players - even the cast of Star Trek: Discovery posted a taking-a-knee photo.
Debate over the national anthem was "a side issue" that's likely to boost ratings for sports talks shows or pre-game shows, but not affect whether people watch the actual games, said Lee Berke, president of consultant LHB Sports Entertainment & Media Inc.
The performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" was promoted on-air before it was performed, with an all-caps onscreen legend reading "National Anthem Coming Up Next" on top of a shot of US troops holding flags of the USA, the state of Arizona, and the P.O.W./M.I.A. movement.
Across Monday's and all of Sunday's games, even the dampened showing from NBC's marquee primetime showdown, gross overnight ratings for league showdowns weren't off from those of 2016. NFL pregame ratings on CBS and Fox were "significantly higher" on Sunday in comparison with previous weekends, the Los Angeles Times reported on Monday, when purely football-related topics were discussed. The NFL says ticket sales are "on par" with past year. Still, pro football games remain among the most-watched things on television.
Certainly, an exodus by those displeased that players have been taking a knee during pre-game playing of the national anthem may have had some effect. But it is far more likely that whatever Trump attempted to spur did not play a major factor in last night's incremental, predicable ratings drop.
For football fans, though, chances are they were attracted by better games.
These decisions come after President Trump's incendiary comments on Friday calling NFL players who kneel during the national anthem "SOB's" and saying they should be fired.