Who plays on Thanksgiving in 2021? TV channels, schedule for NFL Thanksgiving Day games

The NFL Thanksgiving Day games this year will showcase some exciting matchups, including the Dallas Cowboys vs. the Las Vegas Raiders.

The NFL and Thanksgiving go together like turkey and stuffing. Since the NFL’s formation in 1920, the league has played games on Thanksgiving Day. With that said, what NFL games are being played this Thanksgiving, what channel can you watch them on, and what time do they start? Here is all the information you will need to help you celebrate!

2021 Thanksgiving Day games

For the last 100 years, there has been one team that has always played on Thanksgiving Day. That team is the Detroit Lions. Who do they play this year, and who are the other teams playing on Thanksgiving?

Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions

  • Start time: 12:30 PM ET
  • TV channel: FOX
  • Live Streams:
    • Sling
    • Hulu + Live TV
    • fuboTV
    • YouTube TV
    • DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket
    • NFL Mobile App

Will this NFC North battle count for anything?

Both the Bears and Lions are all but eliminated from playoff contention at this point. The two teams have three wins between them, and Chicago has all of them. Detroit continues its tradition of playing during the NFL’s Thanksgiving Day games. But to be completely honest, I am sure the NFL would rather have a different franchise in this spot. The Lions are a complete mess this year and rank in the bottom of the league in nearly every metric imaginable.

Now, with Jared Goff injured and Tim Boyle possibly starting, Detroit probably won’t improve all that much. The Bears, on the other hand, are starting to show signs of improvement behind rookie QB Justin Fields. After a rocky beginning to the year, Fields has settled down and started to show off some of the athleticism that got him drafted in Round 1. This should be an easy one for Chicago.

Las Vegas Raiders vs. Dallas Cowboys

  • Start time: 4:30 PM ET
  • TV channel: CBS
  • Live Streams:
    • Paramount Plus
    • Hulu + Live TV
    • fuboTV
    • YouTube TV
    • DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket
    • NFL Mobile App

Will the Cowboys’ offense be able to perform against a surprising Las Vegas defense?

Another team that is synonymous with Thanksgiving Day games is the Dallas Cowboys. Their tradition began in 1966 when general manager Tex Schramm signed up to play on that day to get more national publicity.

This time around, they play at home against the Las Vegas Raiders. With both offenses in the top five in most offensive metrics this season, we can expect some points to be scored here. Amari Cooper has already been ruled out due to COVID, so expect to see a lot of CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup in this one. The Cowboys are 32-22-1 during NFL Thanksgiving Day games.

Buffalo Bills vs. New Orleans Saints

  • Start time: 8:20 PM ET
  • TV channel: NBC
  • Live Streams:
    • Sling
    • Hulu + Live TV
    • Peacock
    • fuboTV
    • YouTube TV
    • Locast (selected markets)
    • AT&T TV
    • NFL Mobile App

Which Buffalo team will we see during the NFL Thanksgiving Day games?

Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills have been quite inconsistent this year. The AFC East seemed to be a lock for them at the beginning of the season, but now they are tied up in a tight race with the New England Patriots. Plus, the Miami Dolphins aren’t technically out of the race for first in the East yet, either.

The Saints are also in a competitive battle for the NFC South with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Even though they have lost their starting QB in Jameis Winston, the Saints have remained competitive with a mix of Trevor Siemian and Taysom Hill. With Alvin Kamara banged up, we could see Mark Ingram for this NFL Thanksgiving Day game.

Ryan Gosling is the Chief Written Content Officer for Pro Football Network. Follow him on Twitter @ryangoslingPFN.

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