FTP: Winning means ratings

Flush the Pocket will be your daily morning dose of the Arizona Cardinals. It’ll recap the top story line from the previous day and give you a look at what everyone is saying locally and nationally.

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Cardinals bandwagon started getting crowded toward the end of the season.

As Arizona kept winning, more fans started watching its games on TV. According to a NFL and Nielsen numbers, the Cardinals earned a 21.5 rating and 42 share during the season. That means 21.5 percent of households in the Valley were watching the Cardinals and 42 percent of the televisions that were on Sundays when the Cards played were watching their games.

Their rating was the second-highest in Cardinals history compared to 2009, the season after Arizona went to the Super Bowl. And the share was the second most compared to 1999.

Cards fans tuned in during the final eight weeks in droves. Throughout the final eight games, the Cardinals averaged a 23.5 rating and 45 share.

And when the playoffs were on the line, people around Phoenix made sure to pay attention. Arizona’s Week 17 game against San Francisco set a regular-season record with a 54 share, according to a team release. The matchup also yielded a 28.6 rating and reached 531,000 people. Both were the team’s highest since Week 12 of 2009.