Thanksgiving NFL Games

Monica Kurjan, Sports Editor

Having NFL Games on Thanksgiving has been a tradition for a long time. The first Thanksgiving game was in 1920; howeve,r the most memorable start was with the Detroit Lions in 1934 when the Lions faced the Chicago Bears in a big divisional matchup in front of 26,000 fans. The whole point of the holiday game was to get fans to notice the Lions, who had been taking a back seat to the Detroit Tigers (MLB) in the papers. Since then, it has been a custom in Detroit, minus a six season gap between 1939 and 1944, to have a game on Thanksgiving in Detroit every year.

For many people, it is tradition on Thanksgiving to watch the parade in the morning, eat a nice meal, and then spend the rest of the day watching football. From 1940 to 2005, there were two games. Starting in 2006 and beyond, there have been three games on Thanksgiving. This year, the three games are Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions (12:30pm), Los Angeles Chargers at Dallas Cowboys (4:30pm), and New York Giants at Washington Redskins (8:30pm).

The first game of the day features the Lions led by head coach Jim Caldwell against the Vikings led by head coach Mike Zimmer. Going into week 12, the Lions have a record of 6-4, and Vikings have a record of 8-2. This game is an important one for both the Lions and the Vikings. The Vikings are leading the NFC North, and the Lions are coming in right behind them. In their first meeting this season, the Lions won 14-7. If the Lions win this game, then they hold the tiebreaker against the Vikings if it comes down to it for the NFC North Division title. The Lions are led by quarterback, Matthew Stafford, the league’s highest paid player, and the Vikings are led by Case Keenum.

The second game is between the Cowboys led by Jason Garrett and Chargers led by Anthony Lynn. The Cowboys have a record of 5-5 coming in at second place behind the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East. The Chargers with a record of 4-6, are in third place in the AFC West behind the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders. With all the drama surrounding Ezekiel Elliott being suspended for six games, Dak Prescott and the Cowboys need to focus on the game and go out and get a win in order to decrease the gap in their division. Philip Rivers and the Chargers are struggling this season, so this game is the time to prove themselves as an organization and showcase their talent in people like running back Melvin Gordon.

The third and final game is between the Redskins led by Jay Gruden and Giants led by Ben McAdoo. Going into this game, the Redskins have a record of 4-6 coming in third place in the NFC East behind the Eagles and the Cowboys. The Giants are having one of their worst seasons with a record of 2-8 coming in last place in the NFC East. This game should be a must win for Kirk Cousins and the Redskins, but anything could happen when a team like the Giants is led by a Manning brother.

Thanksgiving will be a fun day filled with parades, food, football, and family. Enjoy your day!