The late afternoon slot on Sundays usually is ratings gold, but with the Cowboys and Vikings at 1 p.m. CBS knew going into last weekend it needed a close game between the Jets and Chargers to out-rate Fox.

The game delivered, but it was not quite enough to close the expected gap - at least in the 56 major markets measured in "overnight" ratings.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Cowboys-Vikings drew an average of 23.9 percent of homes, just ahead of the 23.1 for the Jets, according to Sports Business Daily.

Jets-Colts probably will be the third-highest-rated TV show of 2010.

Vikings-Saints will be second.

Jets-Vikings Feb. 7 obviously will be No. 1.

Photo: Getty