Every NFL Thanksgiving Game Ranked

Beth Hendricks

Image: NFL

About This Article

Thanksgiving: That magical holiday of food, fat pants and – oh yeah – football! Nothing tickles our fresh-out-of-a-turkey-coma fancy like a good football game (or three). It's been going on a long time, too, which makes it easy to see why it's become something of a tradition. The first Thanksgiving Day game was played way back in 1869. Of course, that's when football was a little different than what we recognize the game to be today. The first NFL game to take place on Thanksgiving wouldn't come for a few more years – in 1920. 

Since then, we've grown accustomed to some familiar teams on our tubes that day, like the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys. But, there have certainly been noteworthy moments that haven't always involved those teams. Remember the infamous "butt fumble?" A Thanksgiving game between the Patriots and Jets. The Turkey Day coin flip heard 'round the world in 1998? That one's attributed to the Steelers' Jerome Bettis (albeit against the Lions). An urban legend surrounding the removal of the Chicago Tigers from professional sports in 1920? There's no proof it actually happened, of course, but the Tigers were no more after that season.

With Thanksgiving so close we can almost smell the gravy, it's time to count down the best of the holiday's games. From No. 25 to No. 1, we've looked back through the NFL's Thanksgiving annals to find the best performances, most unforgettable moments and, yes, butt fumbles. Grab a drumstick and get to reading!


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