When did the Thanksgiving Day NFL tradition start? Lions, Bears, Cowboys history and games


Every year, on Thanksgiving Day, three NFL match-ups take place filled with loads of action and division rivalries, and today is no different.

First at 12:30 p.m. ET Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills head to Ford Field to take on Jared Goff and the Detroit Lions. Then at 4:30 p.m. Daniel Jones and the New York Giants will face Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys in a heated NFC East rivalry.

At 8:20 p.m. Mac Jones and the New England Patriots will go head-to-head with Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings in a special Thanksgiving edition of Sunday Night Football on NBC and Peacock. Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night in America. The Vikings vs Patriots match up will also be available in Spanish on Peacock.

But if you’ve ever wondered when the NFL Thanksgiving Day tradition started then you’ve come to the right place. See below to find out answers to all of your questions.

RELATED: 2022 Thanksgiving Day NFL schedule – Kickoff times, games, who is playing, TV channels

Be sure to watch NBC’s coverage of the National Dog Show on Thanksgiving day, November 24, directly after Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from 12-2 p.m. local time on NBC, NBCSports.com, and the NBC Sports app!

When did the Thanksgiving Day NFL tradition start?

The Thanksgiving Day NFL tradition started in 1934 when the Detroit Lions hosted the Chicago Bears at the University of Detroit Stadium. George A. Richards, a local radio executive who had recently purchased and relocated the team at the time, came up with the idea in an effort to improve ticket sales and help the Lions get more attention. There was a sellout crowd of roughly 26,000 fans and from then on a tradition was born. With the exception of 1939 to 1944, the Detroit Lions have played annually on Thanksgiving.

In 1966, the Dallas Cowboys entered the chat as the NFL added a second Thanksgiving game to the slate. Aside from 1975 and 1977, when the NFL attempted to add the St. Louis Cardinals into the mix based on popularity, the Cowboys have hosted every year on Thanksgiving Day. In 2006, the league added a third Thanksgiving game to the program.

Patriots and Vikings Thanksgiving History:

Thursday’s game will mark the fifth Thanksgiving appearance for the Patriots and the eighth for the Vikings.

The New England Patriots are 3-2 all-time on Thanksgiving. In 2012, their last Thanksgiving game, the Patriots dominated the New York Jets with a 49-19 victory–the game notoriously known as the “butt fumble” game.

The Minnesota Vikings have an all-time Thanksgiving record of 6-2 and have not played on Thanksgiving Day since 2017 when they defeated the Detroit Lions 30-23.

Which teams haven’t played on Thanksgiving Day?

The Jacksonville Jaguars are the only NFL team to have never played on Thanksgiving.

Which NFL teams have never won a game on Thanksgiving Day?

The Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (and of course, neither have the Jacksonville Jaguars).

Which NFL teams are undefeated on Thanksgiving Day?

The Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans, and Carolina Panthers.

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2022 Thanksgiving Day NFL Schedule:

How to watch Buffalo Bills vs Detroit Lions:

  • Where: Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan
  • When: Thursday, November 24
  • Start Time: 12:30 p.m.
  • TV Channel: CBS

How to watch New York Giants vs Dallas Cowboys:

  • Where: AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas
  • When: Thursday, November 24
  • Start Time: 4:30 p.m.
  • TV Channel: Fox

How to watch 2022 NFL Thanksgiving Sunday Night Football – New England Patriots vs Minnesota Vikings:

  • Where: U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • When: Thursday, November 24
  • Start Time: 8:20 p.m. ET; live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night In America
  • TV Channel: NBC
  • Stream liveWatch live on Peacock or with the NBC Sports App

What time is kickoff for the New England Patriots vs Minnesota Vikings game?

Kickoff is at 8:20 p.m. ET.

RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

For all your tailgating needs for the 2022 Fall season, click here!

How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups

 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

NFL quarterback rankings 2023: Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown ahead of upcoming NFL season


While the NFL is a league that is ever-changing, some things are set to stay the same in 2023 — like the revealing of Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown.

Last year’s list saw Josh Allen take his place atop the quarterback throne, with Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Los Angeles’ Justin Herbert not far behind at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. It was, however, Mahomes who would ultimately reign over all NFL quarterbacks at the end of the season, as the 27-year-old collected both the NFL MVP honors and his second Lombardi Trophy.

This NFL offseason, however, has brought some intriguing adjustments that are likely to shake up Simms’ rankings.

While some signal-callers such as Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson found their prolonged home with massive contract signings, others will be venturing to a new franchise in search of a fresh start. Aaron Rodgers‘ trade to the New York Jets is unquestionably the most staggering shift, but other quarterbacks on the move such as Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo cannot be forgotten.

RELATED: Mike Florio gives an inside look into the Lamar Jackson deal

And with three of the first four picks in the 2023 NFL Draft being spent on a quarterback, emerging talent will likely turn the tides for some franchises this upcoming season.

See below for Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown ahead of the upcoming season. Be sure to subscribe to Chris Simms Unbuttoned for more on the 2023 NFL season as well as an unfiltered look at the NFL featuring player access, unabashed opinion, X&O film breakdown and stories from a life in and around football.

RELATED: Peter King’s latest offseason NFL power rankings

Chris Simms’ 2023 Top 40 QB Countdown:

40. Desmond Ridder (ATL)

39. Sam Howell (WAS)

38. Bryce Young (CAR)

37. CJ Stroud (HOU)

36. Anthony Richardson (IND)

35. Mike White (MIA)

34. Gardner Minshew (IND)

33. Taylor Heinicke (ATL)

32. Jarrett Stidham (DEN)

31. Jordan Love (GB)

30. Davis Mills (HOU)

29. Tyler Huntley (BAL)

28. Andy Dalton (CAR)

27. Sam Darnold (SF)

26. Brock Purdy (SF)

25. Kenny Pickett (PIT)

24. Baker Mayfield (TB)

23. Justin Fields (CHI)

22. Jimmy Garoppolo (LV)

21. Tua Tagovailoa (MIA)

20. Mac Jones (NE)

2023 NFL Schedule Release: Start time, how to watch, live stream, channel


With another exciting NFL Draft in the books, teams can now turn their gaze toward the road to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas. The path to Super Bowl glory, however, is about to become abundantly more clear with the 2023 NFL season schedule release.

This year’s NFL season schedule release is nearly here, with the entirety of the 2023 NFL schedule being unveiled on Thursday, May 11 at 8 p.m. ET on both Peacock and NFL Network. See below for everything you need to know for one of the offseason’s most anticipated events.

RELATED: Click here for full analysis on Rounds 1-7 of the 2023 NFL Draft

When will the 2023 NFL season schedule be released?

While all 272 matchups have been known since the conclusion of the 2022 regular season, the order and dates for these games have remained a mystery. The secret is nearly out, however, with every NFL game on the brink of revelation.

The full 2023 NFL schedule will be released on Thursday, May 11 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

How can I watch the 2023 NFL season schedule release?

The 2023 NFL season schedule release will take place Thursday, May 11 on Peacock, NFL Network, NFL.com and the NFL app at 8 p.m. ET.

While the entirety of the schedule will be unveiled at that time, select games have already been and will continue to be released prior to the official event. Ahead of the 2023 NFL season schedule release, the following games will be announced:

Who will play in the 2023 NFL Kickoff game?

The first game of the 2023-24 NFL season will see the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs take the field in Arrowhead Stadium.

The opponent that will meet Patrick Mahomes and company in Kansas City, however, remains to be revealed.

Which NFL teams have international games in 2023?

While the majority of the matchups set to take place next season have yet to be announced, the league has already revealed which teams will head overseas for international showdowns.

Below is the full list of international NFL games for the 2023-24 season, with three in London, U.K., and two in Frankfurt, Germany.

Falcons vs. Jaguars: Week 4, Oct. 1 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Wembley Stadium in London, U.K.

Jaguars vs. Bills: Week 5, Oct. 8 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, U.K.

Ravens vs. Titans: Week 6, Oct. 15 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, U.K.

Dolphins vs. Chiefs: Week 9, Nov. 5 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Frankfurt Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany

Colts vs. Patriots: Week 10, Nov. 12 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Frankfurt Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany

RELATED: NFL’s 2023 international games full of “star power”

When is the Super Bowl and where will it be taking place?

Stars will be shining bright in Las Vegas, Nevada, for Super Bowl LVIII, set to take place on Feb. 11, 2024, at the home of the Raiders in Allegiant Stadium.

This will be the first Super Bowl to ever take place in Las Vegas, which hosted the 2023 Pro Bowl and 2022 NFL Draft.

Be sure to follow ProFootballTalk for the latest news, updates, and storylines about the upcoming NFL season!