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The Lions" annual tradition of play on the American holiday, which began in 1934, is nearly as old as the franchise itself. In fact, they"re the biggest reason why football and also Thanksgiving are synonymous, also if the Lions haven"t enjoyed as lot success ~ above the holiday as other franchises.

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Here"s a brief history lesson, to add a complete list of past games and also how to clock the 2020 version when stuffing your confront with turkey and also pie.

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Why execute the Lions always play top top Thanksgiving?

It all started on Thanksgiving day in 1934, as soon as owner George A. Richards made decision to pat on the holiday to attract more fans.

Richards was well-known for his marketing acumen, and also his Thanksgiving plan was an prompt hit. The Lions at the time weren"t attracting much of a crowd because the Detroit Tigers to be the city"s main sports attraction. Yet on that Thanksgiving, the Lions not only sold out the stadium, they also had actually to turn people far at the gates. 

The Lions lost to the Bears, but a brand-new team tradition was born. 

Other teams had actually played on Thanksgiving before 1934, but the Lions were different because Richards owned a radio station that to be a significant affiliate of the NBC Blue Network. Richards negotiated an covenant with NBC to broadcast his Thanksgiving gamings on 94 stations across the country. 

Since 1978, the Lions and also Cowboys have actually hosted a video game on Thanksgiving every year. Detroit constantly plays the beforehand game, followed by Dallas in the so late afternoon and a rotating prime-time matchup included in 2006.

Who do the Lions beat on Thanksgiving 2020?

The Lions play the Texans on Thanksgiving in 2020. The is a back of a 2012 game won by the Texans, 34-30, their very first Thanksgiving game in franchise history. 

What channel is the Lions vs. Texans game on?

CBS will broadcast Lions vs. Texans this year. Kickoff is booked for 12:30 p.m. ET — the very first game the the day, as every tradition.

Lions record on Thanksgiving

The Lions room 37-41-2 playing on Thanksgiving in franchise history.

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YearOpponentResult
1934Chicago BearsL, 19-16
1935Chicago BearsW, 14-2
1936Chicago BearsW, 13-7
1937Chicago BearsL, 13-0
1938Chicago BearsW, 14-7
1945Cleveland RamsL, 28-21
1946Boston YanksL, 34-10
1947Chicago BearsL, 34-14
1948Chicago CardsL, 28-14
1949Chicago BearsL, 28-7
1950New York YanksW, 49-14
1951Green only PackersW, 52-35
1952Green only PackersW, 48-24
1953Green only PackersW, 34-15
1954Green just PackersW, 28-24
1955Green just PackersW, 24-10
1956Green bay PackersL, 24-20
1957Green bay PackersW, 18-6
1958Green just PackersW, 24-14
1959Green just PackersL, 24-17
1960Green bay PackersW, 23-10
1961Green bay PackersL, 17-9
1962Green just PackersW, 26-14
1963Green bay PackersT, 13-13
1964Chicago BearsL, 27-24
1965Baltimore ColtsT, 24-24
1966San Francisco 49ersL, 41-14
1967Los Angeles RamsL, 31-7
1968Philadelphia EaglesL, 12-0
1969Minnesota VikingsL, 27-0
1970Oakland RaidersW, 28-14
1971Kansas City ChiefsW, 32-21
1972New York JetsW, 37-20
1973Washington RedskinsL, 20-0
1974Denver BroncosL, 31-27
1975Los Angeles RamsL, 20-0
1976Buffalo BillsW, 27-14
1977Chicago BearsL, 31-14
1978Denver BroncosW, 17-14
1979Chicago BearsW, 20-0
1980Chicago BearsL, 23-17 (OT)
1981Kansas City ChiefsW, 27-10
1982New York GiantsL, 13-6
1983Pittsburgh SteelersW, 45-3
1984Green bay PackersW, 31-28
1985New York JetsW, 31-20
1986Green just PackersL, 44-40
1987Kansas City ChiefsL, 27-20
1988Minnesota VikingsL, 23-0
1989Cleveland BrownsW, 13-10
1990Denver BroncosW, 40-27
1991Chicago BearsW, 16-6
1992Houston TexansL, 24-21
1993Chicago BearsL, 10-6
1994Buffalo BillsW, 35-21
1995Minnesota VikingsW, 44-38
1996Kansas City ChiefsL, 28-24
1997Chicago BearsW, 55-20
1998Pittsburgh SteelersW, 19-16 (OT)
1999Chicago BearsW, 21-17
2000New England PatriotsW, 34-9
2001Green only PackersL, 29-27
2002New England PatriotsL, 20-12
2003Green bay PackersW, 22-14
2004Indianapolis ColtsL, 41-9
2005Atlanta FalconsL, 27-7
2006Miami DolphinsL, 27-10
2007Green only PackersL, 37-26
2008Tennessee TitansL, 47-10
2009Green bay PackersL, 34-12
2010New England PatriotsL, 45-24
2011Green just PackersL, 27-15
2012Houston TexansL, 34-31 (OT)
2013Green only PackersW, 40-10
2014Chicago BearsW, 34-17
2015Philadelphia EaglesW, 45-14
2016Minnesota VikingsW, 16-13
2017Minnesota VikingsL, 30-23
2018Chicago BearsL, 23-16
2019Chicago BearsL, 24-20

Notable games: 

1962 — The Lions gave the environment-friendly Bay Packers their only loss the season. Eco-friendly Bay perfect 13-1 and also won its second consecutive NFL championship.

1980 — The Lions and also Bears were tied 17-17 in ~ the finish of regulation. It was the first Thanksgiving video game to enter overtime, and when bear running ago Dave Williams changed the OT kickoff because that a touchdown, it also became the shortest overtime in ~ 13 seconds — a regular-season document that was standing today. 

1986 — The Lions and also Packers played the highest-scoring video game in Thanksgiving history to date, 44-40, with environment-friendly Bay acquisition the W. 

2008 — The 10-1 Titans to win the 0-11 Lions 47-10, one of the biggest allude differentials in Thanksgiving history. The Lions finished the season 0-16. 


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