Perhaps the only thing more synonymous with Thanksgiving than football, is turkey. It’s an annual tradition that we as fans are treated to not one, not two, but three games on Thanksgiving. (At least, since 2006.)
Of course, everybody knows that the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys each host a Thanksgiving Day opponent, with Detroit playing early and Dallas playing around mid-afternoon (Eastern Standard Time). In recent seasons, we’ve also had a prime-time contest, because you can just never get enough football.
With the league having announced the entirety of the 2022 schedule, we now know which six teams will be playing on Thanksgiving. We’ve got an interesting slate on our hands, and you won’t want to miss a moment of the action. Here are previews of the three games:
12:30 p.m. ET on CBS | Stream: Paramount+
Outside of a four-year stretch in the early 1940s, the NFL has held Thanksgiving Day games every year since 1920. The Lions are the richest of Thanksgiving Day traditions and have been an annual participant since 1934. Detroit is 37-43-2 in its 82 Thanksgiving games, but has lost five in a row since defeating the division rival Vikings (more on them later) in 2016.
This is the second consecutive year the Bills will play on Thanksgiving, and the third time in the last four years. They defeated the Saints 31-6 in the nightcap last year, and in 2019 they defeated the Cowboys during Josh Allen’s second season as the starter. They had not previously played on Thanksgiving Day in 25 years. Buffalo is 0-2 against Detroit in Thanksgiving games, having lost to the Lions in 1994 and 1976. Prior to that, the Bills had compiled a 4-2 Thanksgiving record in games against the (St. Louis) Cardinals, (Oakland) Raiders, (San Diego) Chargers, and (New York) Titans.
This game will provide a tough test for Aidan Hutchinson and the Lions’ defense, as Allen guides one of the NFL’s most explosive offenses. It will be tough for Jared Goff and Co. to keep up with them, assuming the Bills continue scoring as often as they have in recent seasons.
4:30 p.m. ET on Fox | Stream: fuboTV
The Cowboys became the second regular Thanksgiving Day participant beginning in 1966. All but two Thanksgivings have included games featuring both the Lions and Cowboys since Dallas’ inclusion. Dallas has a 31-22-1 record in Thanksgiving Day games, with last year’s loss to the Raiders being the most recent.
This game marks the sixth consecutive time that the Cowboys have played against a divisional opponent when the game was being broadcast by Fox. They had previously played three games against Washington and one against the Eagles. Dallas and New York have squared off on Thanksgiving only once, in 1992. (The Cowboys won that game 30-3.) The Giants have played on Thanksgiving just three times since 1938, so this is a very rare occasion for Big Blue.
This game should be an interesting one with a new regime in charge of the Giants, who have not had much success against the division rival Cowboys in recent years. Dallas has won nine of the most recent 10 games between the two teams, with the only win coming when Dak Prescott was out due to injury. The Giants have otherwise not defeated a Prescott-led Cowboys team since his rookie year, when they dealt the Cowboys two of their three regular-season losses.
Patriots at Vikings
8:20 p.m. ET on NBC | Stream: fuboTV
The NFL added a prime-time game to the Thanksgiving Day schedule in 2006. There had been a prime-time game on Thanksgiving Day every year since 2006 until the Steelers-Ravens game was postponed during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, but the tradition resumed with the Bills taking on the Saints last season.
New England has played on Thanksgiving just five times in team history, and not since 2012, when the Patriots defeated the Jets in 49-19 in prime time. The Pats are 3-2 in Thanksgiving games overall, with all three wins and just one loss coming during the Bill Belichick era. (They lost to the Cowboys in 1984.)
Minnesota has played eight times on Thanksgiving, most recently in 2017, when the Vikings avenged their Thanksgiving Day loss to the Lions from the year before. The Vikes are 6-2 on Thanksgiving overall, though this will mark the first time they play against a team other than the Lions or Cowboys. (Minnesota is 3-2 against Detroit and 3-0 against Dallas in those games, with the most notable contest being Randy Moss’ three-touchdown explosion against the Cowboys team that had passed on him in the 1998 NFL Draft.)
The Vikings have lost five consecutive games against the Patriots, and have not defeated them since Belichick’s first season at the helm of the franchise.