This page has some fun and interesting facts regarding Thanksgiving football games. There have been some patterns emerge throughout the years that are worth mentioning, as well as some records that go as far back as the 1940s. Thanksgiving football is a historical tradition that brings fans together to celebrate the game they love. Take a look at our list of Thanksgiving football trivia to learn some things you may not have previously known.
When Did Thanksgiving Football Start?
Thanksgiving football is believed to have been started on the college level in the late 19th century. Yale and Princeton began holding regular Thanksgiving games starting in 1876. Professional football started playing Thanksgiving around the same time with pro-am teams and leagues holding games. By the time the NFL (as it exists today) was founded in 1920, Thanksgiving football was engrained in the tradition.
Which NFL Team Has Played The Most Thanksgiving Games?
The Detroit Lions have played the most Thanksgiving games. They have hosted Thanksgiving games since 1934 and only took a break during WWII. NFL Thanksgiving Day Football games are a beloved element of the holiday throughout the US, regardless of who your favorite team is.
Which NFL Team Has The Most Thanksgiving Wins/Losses?
The Detroit Lions claim both of these records. Their combined Thanksgiving Day record is 37-38-2.
Which NFL Team Has Been The Second Most Successful?
The Dallas Cowboys trail the Detroit Lions in all facets of Thanksgiving. They have hosted the second-most number of games (their hosting tenure began back in 1966) and have a combined Turkey Day record of 30-18-1.
Which Team Has The Second Most Losses?
The Green Bay Packers have a total of 20 Thanksgiving losses.
Are There Any Betting Trends For Thanksgiving Football?
Yes. Since 1989, 64% of favored teams have gone on to win their Thanksgiving Day games. The over hits 65% of the time on Thanksgiving for those who like making over/under bets. This trend might just help you in determining who to bet on with this year’s Thanksgiving football betting odds.
Who Are The Favorites This Year?
In the NFL, The Lions, Cowboys and Giants are the favored teams in their respective matchups.
How Do NCAA Thanksgiving Football Games Work?
NCAA Thanksgiving football games are usually rivalry matchups at the end of the regular season.
Which College Football Teams Have Been Historically Successful On Thanksgiving?
Most Thanksgiving games take place over the weekend. Teams like Alabama, Florida State, Ohio State, Georgia, Florida, the University of Miami and Clemson have been successful over the years with Thanksgiving weekend games.
Are There Any NFL Teams That Have Never Played A Thanksgiving Game?
The Jacksonville Jaguars are the only NFL franchise to not feature in a Thanksgiving game.
What Was The Biggest Thanksgiving Day Blowout?
The largest point differential came in 1980 when the Dallas Cowboys beat the Seattle Seahawks 51-7. The Lions had a blowout game in 1983 against the Pittsburgh Steelers—they won by 42 points.
Was There Ever A Time When Thanksgiving Day Games Were Not Played?
Yes. There were no Thanksgiving games played from 1941-1944 due to WWII.
Which Team Has The Best Overall Winning Percentage?
The Minnesota Vikings have the highest winning percentage per Thanksgiving appearances (outside of just one appearance). They are 5-1 in Thanksgiving games.
Who Holds The Record For Most Rushing Yards In A Thanksgiving Game?
OJ Simpson has the record for most rushing yards in a Thanksgiving game. He put up 273 yards v. the Lions in 1976.
Who Holds The Record For Most Receiving Yards In A Thanksgiving Game?
This record goes all the way back to the 1940s with Cleveland’s Jim Benton putting up 303 receiving yards.
Who Holds The Record For Most Passing Yards In A Thanksgiving Game?
Troy Aikman threw for 455 passing yards against the Minnesota Vikings in 1998.
Who Holds The Record For Most Touchdowns Scored In A Thanksgiving Game?
Ernie Nevers scored 6 touchdowns in a 1929 Thanksgiving game for the now defunct Chicago Cardinals.
Have The Cowboys Ever Been Replaced On Thanksgiving?
Yes. The Dallas Cowboys were replaced by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1975 and 1977. However, they reclaimed their spot because of their popularity.
Has Any Team Gone On To Win The Super Bowl After Winning Their Thanksgiving Game?
Yes. The Cowboys have done it on 3 separate occasions. The Miami Dolphins also did it during their perfect 1972-1973 season.
Are There Any Teams That Have Never Won On Thanksgiving?
The Cleveland Browns are 0-3 in Thanksgiving games. The Cincinnati Bengals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have also never won a game, though they have both only featured once in a Thanksgiving game.