Thanksgiving Day football is a time-honored tradition that just feels different than any other time during the regular season. On Thursday, the NFL will feature three games on the holiday.
The Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions will square off in the first game in a battle of NFC North foes. Both teams were among the first to participate in games during the holiday.
In 1925, the Bears and Chicago Cardinals played to a 0-0 tie. In 1934, the Lions played the Bears on the same holiday in the first nationally broadcast football game. Bronko Nagurski threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Bill Hewitt to seal a 19-16 victory in their first meeting.
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Since then, the Bears, Lions and later the Dallas Cowboys have been staples of Thanksgiving Day, along with your turkey, cranberry sauce and family infighting. The Cowboys will play the Las Vegas Raiders, who have only made seven appearances on Thanksgiving.
The third game, which was postponed last year due to a COVID outbreak on the Baltimore Ravens, will be played between the New Orleans Saints and Buffalo Bills.
Here are some things to know about the Thanksgiving Day schedule.
LIONS (0-9-1) VS. BEARS (3-7)
The Bears and Lions have both had off years this season and are both trending downward. Thursday afternoon’s game will not feature Justin Fields, who is dealing with a rib injury, while Jared Goff is slated to start despite an oblique injury. This will definitely not be the marquee game of the afternoon but could be the best chance for Detroit to pick up a win.
ALL-TIME SERIES: 103-75-5 Bears
Time (ET): 12:30 p.m.
WHERE: Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
COWBOYS (7-3) VS. RAIDERS (5-5)
The Cowboys and Raiders are also looking for bounce-back victories. Dallas is coming off a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Raiders lost to the Cincinnati Bengals. Both teams are firmly in position to at least make the playoffs. There’s a lot at stake in this game, and a loss for either team could be consequential down the road.
ALL-TIME SERIES: 6-6
TIME (ET): 4:30 p.m.
WHERE: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
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SAINTS (5-5) VS. BILLS (6-4)
The Saints and Bills will take us into the night. New Orleans has had to deal with injuries to the quarterback position, which has set them back a bit this year. Trevor Siemian will try to put together a win over a Bills defense that is hungry to get back on track. Buffalo fell behind the New England Patriots after a loss last week to the Indianapolis Colts. Both teams need a win to get back on track.
ALL-TIME SERIES: 7-4 Saints
TIME (ET): 8:20 p.m.
WHERE: Caesars Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana