When Was The Last Time The Lions Won On Thanksgiving

When Was the Last Time the Lions Won on Thanksgiving?

Last Updated on March 26, 2024 by Kimberlee Johnson

Thanksgiving is more than just a holiday centered around a meal of turkey and cranberry sauce for many individuals.

It’s a day steeped in tradition, and for football fans, that tradition includes watching the Detroit Lions take the field. 

As someone who loves watching football games, I remember the excitement and anticipation surrounding the Lions’ Thanksgiving game. 

But when was the last time the Lions won on Thanksgiving? With that, I’ll share information about when the Lions last celebrated a victory. Read on.

When Was The Last Thanksgiving That The Lions Won?

Detroit Lions Players

The Detroit Lions’ [1] most recent Thanksgiving triumph occurred in 2016. Despite this win, the NFL has continued to feature the Lions on Thanksgiving Day. 

While the questions about the Lions’ Thanksgiving performance have calmed since that victory, the team has faced ongoing challenges. 

“The football field was a place where I could express myself and just be me. Play the game as well as you can and that’s what you’re judged on. Not the colour of your skin, or your beliefs, or the conversation you have around racism.”

Adam Goodes, Former Australian Rules Football Player

In 2022, they played against the Buffalo Bills but experienced another loss, extending their recent Thanksgiving losing streak.

Find out what teams played in the first college football game on Thanksgiving Day here.

What Are The Lions Overall Results On Thanksgiving?

The Detroit Lions have a historical record of 37 wins, 43 losses, and 2 ties on Thanksgiving Day. 

Unfortunately, their 16-14 loss to the Chicago Bears in 2022 affected this record, leaving them with 37 wins, 43 losses, and 2 ties on Thanksgiving.

How Many Times Have The Lions Lost On Thanksgiving?

The Detroit Lions have recently encountered a concerning pattern of losses on Thanksgiving Day. Specifically, they have suffered defeat in their last five Thanksgiving Day games.

This means that the Lions have been unable to secure a win on this historically significant holiday for the NFL for the past five years.

As such, this losing streak has raised concerns among fans and analysts about the team’s performance on this particular holiday. 

Why Does The Lions’ Game Always Fall On Thanksgiving?

The tradition of the Detroit Lions playing on Thanksgiving Day began in 1934 when team owner George A. Richards had the visionary idea to schedule football games on this holiday to attract more fans. 

Richards’ marketing plan proved spot-on, and this Thanksgiving tradition has endured ever since. 

Despite the team’s ups and downs, their commitment to entertaining fans on this special day remains a testament to Richards’ enduring legacy in sports.

How Many Thanksgivings Have The Lions Played Against The Bears?

Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions

The Bears and Lions have a storied history of Thanksgiving Day showdowns, with 18 meetings on this special holiday, all taking place in Detroit. 

“Thanksgiving and the Lions winning seem like an old, cherished story waiting for a new chapter to be written.”

Howkapow Gift Site

The Bears have held the upper hand in these matchups, boasting a 10–8 record in their Thanksgiving encounters with the Lions. 

This annual tradition has added a layer of rivalry and excitement to Thanksgiving football, making it eagerly anticipated by fans of both teams.

Are The Lions Still Playing On Thanksgiving?

Yes, the Detroit Lions continue to play on the National Football League’s [2] Thanksgiving tradition. 

This enduring custom, featuring annual games by the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys, remains firmly in place. 

The Lions’ Thanksgiving game in 2022 marked their 83rd appearance in this storied holiday tradition. 

Their ongoing presence on Thanksgiving Day is a testament to this unique football tradition’s rich history and enduring appeal.

Also Read: Where Do You Watch The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade?


When did the Lions last win four games in a row?

In 2010, the Detroit Lions accomplished a four-game winning streak to conclude the season. 

Despite challenges like player injuries and difficulty closing out games earlier in the season, this late surge allowed them to finish with a record of 6-10.

When did the Lions last win a playoff game?

The last time the Detroit Lions claimed victory in a playoff game was in 1991. This marked a span of 31 seasons without a playoff victory. 

Following the Cincinnati Bengals’ playoff win over the Las Vegas Raiders in 2021, the Lions became the team with the longest current drought since their last postseason win.

When did the Lions last beat the Bears?

The Detroit Lions beat the Bears in a big way, scoring 41-10 in 2017. This was the first time they won both games against the Bears in a season since that year. 

It was also their biggest win against the Bears in a long time; the last one like this was in 1997 on Thanksgiving Day when they won 55-20.

How long will the Lions’ Thanksgiving game last?

The Detroit Lions’ Thanksgiving game typically lasts approximately 3 hours and 10 minutes. 

Who is the Detroit Lions’ biggest opponent?

The Detroit Lions’ biggest opponent is undoubtedly the Chicago Bears. 

The Bears–Lions rivalry, a longstanding National Football League (NFL) rivalry, has consistently delivered intense and memorable matchups throughout the history of both teams.

But which of the football teams will not be playing on the Thanksgiving Day game?

Final Thoughts

As someone who’s been eagerly following the Detroit Lions’ Thanksgiving Day performances, it’s clear that their last win on this cherished holiday was back in 2016. 

Their overall record on Thanksgiving stands at 37 wins, 43 losses, and two ties, with their last five Thanksgiving games resulting in heart-wrenching losses. 

Even though the NFL keeps giving them a chance to play on Thanksgiving, recent years have been disappointing. 

This differs from their important history on this holiday; fans like me want to see them win again on Thanksgiving.


Kimberlee Johnson
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