It's Thanksgiving Day, and that means two things: turkey and touchdowns! Just like eating a turkey feast, the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys have been a Thanksgiving tradition for decades, and it's hard to imagine the holiday without them. But what other teams have marked this holiday? And more importantly, which NFL team has the most wins on Thanksgiving day? But which NFL team has the most wins on the holiday?
Which NFL team has played the most games on Thanksgiving Day?
|Rank||Team Name||# of Games|
|4||Green Bay Packers||36|
|6||New York Giants||16|
Which NFL team has the most wins on Thanksgiving Day?
|Rank||Team Name||# of Games|
|4||Green Bay Packers||14|
|5*||New York Giants||7|
NFL Thanksgiving Day Highlights
The Detroit Lions are the Thanksgiving Stars—they’ve played in the most games, and have the most wins AND losses. Let’s take a look at some of their most epic games:
1962: Lions 26, Packers 14
Thanksgiving '62 and the underdog Lions are tearing up the field against the Packers. It's a rout with Detroit up 26-zip by the fourth quarter, and Green Bay's perfect season is hanging by a thread. The Packers rally late, putting up two quick touchdowns, but it's too little too late. Detroit's got this one in the bag from the get-go, snapping Green Bay's dream of an untarnished record. That day, the Lions didn't just win a game; they etched a giant-killer moment into NFL lore.
1998: Lions 19, Steelers 16
Thanksgiving '98, and the Lions-Steelers game goes into OT tied up at 16 all. Jerome Bettis calls the coin toss mid-air, and there's a mix-up. He says "tails," but the ref hears "heads," and just like that, Detroit's got the ball. They kick a field goal and walk off with a 19-16 win, leaving everyone arguing about what Bettis really said. That botched call? It changed the game rules for good. Now, refs have to get the call clear before the coin's in the air, and the first OT score can't be the last word. No more wins on a lucky flip and a quick kick, thanks to that Thanksgiving Day when a coin toss turned into a full-blown football legend.
Cheering on the Detroit Lions this holiday season? Check out our 3’ x 5’ Detroit Lions Flag to show off your spirit for the team that has the most Thanksgiving Day wins!
Hot on the heels of the Detroit Lions in the Thanksgiving Day race, the Dallas Cowboys come in with the second-highest number of wins. While the Lions may have the most wins, the Cowboys have carved out their own Thanksgiving legacy. With an impressive 31 victories, they've given fans plenty of reasons to celebrate over the years. Let's dive into some of their most memorable Thanksgiving showdowns:
1993: Cowboys 16, Dolphins 14
It's Thanksgiving Day '93, and the Cowboys look set to notch a win against the Dolphins with seconds to spare, leading 14-13. Miami's kicker lines up for the game-winner, but it's blocked! Dallas thinks they've got it in the bag, but then the ball takes a strange spin on the ground. Enter Leon Lett, who tries to grab it, slips, and now it's a free-for-all. The Dolphins recover the ball, Stoyanovich gets another go from practically the doorstep, and he doesn't miss. In a wild turn of events, the Dolphins steal it, 16-14. Now that's an ending you don't see every day.
Cheering on the Cowboys? Check out our NFL Can Cooler featuring the Cowboys logo.
The Chicago Bears have their own storied place in Thanksgiving Day lore, with a history that stretches back to the NFL's earliest days. Though they may not have as many games under their belt as the Lions or Cowboys, the Bears have made the most of their holiday appearances with some truly historic plays and a solid 20 wins to their name.
1920 Chicago Tigers, Decatur Staleys: Thanksgiving, 1920, and the stakes are as high as the holiday spirits in Chicago. The scene is set for a gridiron clash between the Chicago Tigers and the Decatur Staleys. Rumor has it, the loser would have to bow out of the league — a rough-and-tumble NFL twist. While that "winner stays, loser leaves" tale might be more myth than fact, what's true is the Tigers' next game was their last roar — a 27-0 win over the Thorn Tornadoes before they folded. The Staleys? They stuck around, moved to Chicago, and rebranded as the Bears, kicking off a legacy that would stand the test of time.
The Green Bay Packers, with their rich history and die-hard fan base, also hold a special spot in the Thanksgiving Day lineup. While they may not lead the pack with the most appearances, they've certainly left their mark with 14 wins, offering a blend of legendary performances and dramatic finishes that resonate with the spirit of the holiday.
1986: Packers 44, Lions 40
On Thanksgiving in 1986, the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers gave fans a scoring bonanza, putting up a combined 84 points, the second-highest total in the holiday's history. Wide receiver Walter Stanley had the game of his life for Green Bay, notching 207 yards and three touchdowns. His crowning play was an 83-yard punt return that clinched the game, leading the Packers to a nail-biting 44–40 win. Stanley's performance that day was a bright spot in an otherwise modest NFL career.
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When it comes to Thanksgiving, the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys are as much a part of the holiday as pumpkin pie and stuffing. The Lions, with their roaring 37 wins, hold the record. And let's face it, they've given us some real nail-biters and heart-stoppers over the years. Like back in '62, when they shattered the Packers' perfect season, or that coin-toss controversy in '98 that had us all scratching our heads and calling for a rule change.
But let's not forget the Cowboys, who've trotted off the field with a win 31 times. Who could ignore the blizzard game against the Dolphins in '93? It was one for the books, with a final twist that left everyone's jaws on the floor. Classic Cowboys' style.
And while the Bears and Packers may not have as many Thanksgiving wins, they've sure had their moments in the holiday spotlight. Whether it was the Bears starting it all off in 1920 or the Packers' scoring frenzy in '86, these teams have added their own flavor to the Thanksgiving Day mix.
As we gear up for another round of Turkey Day football, it's the perfect time to wave those team flags and wear your team's gear proudly. It's about more than just football; it's about tradition, history, and the stories we'll tell for years to come. So here's to the teams that have given us some of the best moments in NFL Thanksgiving history. May the best team win, and let the turkey be ever in your flavor!