Anyone else notice something odd watching the start of Sunday’s game between the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks?

A distinct lack of commercials.

FOX did not take its first break until 2:02 left in the first quarter, and that only came while a play was being reviewed by the officials.

Normally if one team goes on a long drive to open the game, the network will go to a break right after that. If the first drive is quick, the other team will run its first series and then we go to a commercial.

But that didn’t happen. Seattle and Atlanta both ran two series before the first ad popped onto your screen.

It was 12:58 of game time, but 25 minutes in the real world without a commercial. That’s blasphemy in this era of broadcasting.

There was no official word from the NFL Sunday night as to why, but here’s an educated guess – ratings. It’s been no secret the NFL has seen sagging numbers this season. Viewership has been down in virtually every time slot.

Out of 32 total broadcast windows between Week 1 and Week 5, only seven saw viewership up over last year. All the others have been down, according to Sports Media Watch. Numbers for Week 6 weren’t available Sunday.

Several factors that have been speculated

- Games being streamed on mobile devices, which aren’t accounted for in the Nielsen ratings

- Boycotts over the national anthem protests that started with Colin Kaepernick

- Diluted product: The NFL is now on three days a week

- Or, perhaps, people are just not as interested in football anymore.

So what happened with Sunday’s Seahawks-Falcons game may be the league and the network experimenting to see if they can get those numbers up. Hold your audience for a long period at the start and maybe they’ll stay.

We’ve reached out to the NFL for comment.