NFL Thanksgiving Games 2023: What NFL Games Are on Thanksgiving This Year? TV Schedule, Start Times, and More

Which NFL teams are scheduled to play on Thanksgiving Day, who has played the most on the holiday, and which teams have yet to see themselves scheduled?

The annual NFL tradition of Thanksgiving games is back once again in 2023! Turkey, stuffing, family, and NFL football. What could be better? With three games scheduled for Thanksgiving in 2023, here are all the details, who is playing, and when you can watch them.

NFL Thanksgiving Games and Schedule

  • Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions
    FOX | 12:30 p.m. ET 
  • Washington Commanders at Dallas Cowboys
    CBS | 4:30 p.m. ET 
  • San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks
    NBC | 8:30 p.m. ET

The first of three Thanksgiving games is a NFC North battle between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions. This division is currently a two-horse race between the Lions and the Minnesota Vikings. Unfortunately, the Packers have struggled behind Jordan Love this year, with a bottom-half offense in the league. A win here could keep the Packers in the playoff picture, but things are dire in Green Bay.

For the Lions, they simply need to continue doing what they’ve been doing and win the game.

The second Thanksgiving game in 2023 is an NFC East showdown between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Commanders. Like the NFC North, the East is basically a two-team battle right now between the Cowboys and Eagles. However, the Eagles have the upper hand thanks to a head-to-head win.

Regardless, this is the kind of game the Cowboys need to win. A loss to the Commanders would hurt their playoff chances but would be especially embarrassing on Thanksgiving in front of the entire country. Dallas has a top-five offense and defense in the NFL, and they control their own fate. Although the Commanders have played better recently, it might be a little too late for their playoff chances.

The last game on Thanksgiving is another divisional battle between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks. This might be the game of the day as these two teams battle for the top of the NFC West standings. The winner of this one will have the upper hand in the division and keep momentum on their side.

Which Football Teams Always Play on Thanksgiving?

Watching NFL games on Thanksgiving is a tradition for many of us. But unless you play for the right franchise, these opportunities could come few and far between.

That said, there are a few football teams that always play on Thanksgiving. The Detroit Lions were the first to host Thanksgiving games every year. The tradition started in 1934, as Lions owner G.A. Richards scheduled a holiday matchup between the Lions and Chicago Bears.

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Thirty-two years later, the Dallas Cowboys made their appearance on Thanksgiving Day in 1966, beating the Cleveland Browns 26-14 at the Cotton Bowl. Tex Schramm, the Cowboys’ general manager at the time, wanted the team to play on the holiday for more national publicity for the franchise.

After 80,000 fans showed up, the Cowboys were essentially locked into playing every Thanksgiving Day since, except for 1975 and 1977, when the NFL scheduled the St. Louis Cardinals.

While Detroit and Dallas are the only teams that always play on Thanksgiving, the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers have frequented the holiday, mainly due to their association with the Lions and playing in the same division. While Detroit has the most wins at 37-43-2, Chicago has a 20–15–2 record on Thanksgiving, with Green Bay trailing at 14–20–2.

Which Teams Have Never Played on Thanksgiving?

The NFL, especially since the addition of a third Thanksgiving Day game, has done a great job of getting nearly every franchise time in the spotlight. However, not everyone has had the chance to bite the turkey leg after the game.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are the only NFL team without a Thanksgiving appearance. Founded in 1995, they are the fourth youngest franchise, tied with the Carolina Panthers. They simply had fewer opportunities compared to the Lions and Cowboys, and other older franchises.

However, I expect this to change in the future given the recent success of the Jaguars in 2022 — they not only made the playoffs but knocked out the Los Angeles Chargers. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cincinnati Bengals, and Panthers have the next fewest number of Thanksgiving games played, appearing just once a piece.

Thanksgiving Games By Team

  • Detroit Lions: 84
  • Dallas Cowboys: 56
  • Chicago Bears: 37
  • Green Bay Packers: 37
  • Arizona Cardinals: 21
  • New York Giants: 16
  • Washington Commanders: 13
  • Denver Broncos: 11
  • Buffalo Bills: 11
  • Kansas City Chiefs: 10
  • Minnesota Vikings: 9
  • Pittsburgh Steelers: 8
  • New York Jets: 8
  • Las Vegas Raiders: 8
  • Philadelphia Eagles: 7
  • Miami Dolphins: 7
  • Tennessee Titans: 7
  • San Francisco 49ers: 6
  • New England Patriots: 6
  • Los Angeles Chargers: 5
  • Los Angeles Rams: 5
  • Seattle Seahawks: 5
  • Indianapolis Colts: 4
  • Atlanta Falcons: 4
  • New Orleans Saints: 4
  • Cleveland Browns: 3
  • Baltimore Ravens: 2
  • Houston Texans: 2
  • Carolina Panthers: 1
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 1
  • Cincinnati Bengals: 1
  • Jacksonville Jaguars: 0

From the current NFL standings to team depth charts to coverage of every game in the 18-week NFL schedule, we have all the news from around the league to keep you up to speed!

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