Some Interesting Thanksgiving Football Facts

NFL Football is a tradition on Thanksgiving Day that started way back in the 1920’s. Along the way there have been some interesting games, great moments, and unforgettable plays. Here is a look at some of the more interesting football facts associated with Thanksgiving Day football games.

-NFL fans may not be aware, but there is also a tradition of watching football on Thanksgiving in Canada. The difference is that it is the Canadian Thanksgiving Day and the teams playing are from the Canadian Football League.

-The NFL started playing games on Thanksgiving way back in 1920. Most other pro leagues have played on the holiday too including the original AFL, the AAFC, and the AFL of the 1960s.

-The New York Jets, known for a time as the New York Titans, had the best record of any AFL team during the 1960s in Thanksgiving Day games. They were 3-0 during that time.

-The New York Titans won the first Thanksgiving Day game played in the AFL.

-The 1965 match up between the Detroit Lions and Baltimore Colts was the first time a Thanksgiving Day game was broadcasted in color.

-The first televised Thanksgiving Day game was in 1953 and was carried by the DuMont Network.

-In 1976, Buffalo Bills running back O.J. Simpson set the NFL record for most rushing yards in a game when he ran for 273 yards on Thanksgiving against the Detroit Lions.

-Due to an injury to longtime Detroit Lions kicker Jason Hanson, in 2010 Dave Rayner became the first Lions kicker other than Hanson to attempt a field goal on Thanksgiving since 1991.

-The highest score any team has ever gotten on Thanksgiving is 55 points. This was first done in 1977 by the Miami Dolphins in their win over the St. Louis Cardinals. The score was matched by the Detroit Lions 20 years later in 1997 when they beat the Chicago Bears 55-20.

-The first, and through 2010 only, time two AFC teams have played each other on Thanksgiving was in 2006 when the Kansas City Chiefs hosted the Denver Broncos.

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