Which Football Team Is Not Playing A Thanksgiving Day Game

Which Football Team Is Not Playing a Thanksgiving Day Game?

Last Updated on February 25, 2024 by Kimberlee Johnson

As I gathered with my loved ones for a satisfying Thanksgiving meal, we were all eagerly looking forward to watching football on the large screen. Our excitement was palpable.

Thanksgiving Day and football are as synonymous as turkey and stuffing. But when we checked the TV schedule, we noticed that one football team was missing from the lineup. 

This surprised us and made us wonder: “which football team is not playing a Thanksgiving Day game?” 

With that, I’ll tell you which team won’t be playing on Thanksgiving Day, breaking a long tradition for football fans.

Which Football Team Will Not Play A Game On Thanksgiving?

Football Game

In 2022, several football teams, including the Miami Dolphins, Tennessee Titans, and Baltimore Ravens, did not participate in the Thanksgiving Day game. 

Not only that, but there are a select few other teams that were absent from the Thanksgiving lineup:

  • San Francisco 49ers
  • LA Chargers
  • Cincinnati Bengals
  • Cleveland Browns
  • Denver Broncos
  • LA Rams
  • New York Jets
  • Seattle Seahawks
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Chicago Bears
  • Las Vegas Raiders
  • Atlanta Falcons
  • Carolina Panthers
  • Houston Texans
  • Jacksonville Jaguars
  • New Orleans Saints
  • Washington Commanders 

However, as of 2023, there is yet to be any information available regarding which team might miss out on the Thanksgiving Day game. 

So, football fans will have to wait for updates to see who takes the field this year. But which college teams played in the first football game on Thanksgiving Day?

Which Football Team Is Playing On Thanksgiving?

In the tradition of Thanksgiving Day football, the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys will take the field in 2023. 

The Green Bay Packers, Washington Commanders, San Francisco 49ers, and the Seattle Seahawks are joining them in this year’s festivities. 

“There’s two times of year for me: Football season, and waiting for football season.” 

Darius Rucker, American Singer

Football fans can look forward to these teams showcasing their skills on this special holiday. But when was the Detroit Lions won on Thanksgiving Day game?

Is It A Thanksgiving Tradition To Play Football?

Yes, it is indeed a Thanksgiving tradition to play football. 

This tradition traces back to college football, with the Intercollegiate Football Association hosting their championship game on Thanksgiving starting in 1876. 

However, it gained popularity in 1880 when the game was moved to New York. 

By the mid-1890s, college football and Thanksgiving Day had become inseparable, solidifying the tradition of watching and playing football on this cherished holiday.

Which Football Team Has Played On Thanksgiving The Longest?

In the history of the NFL, no team has a longer Thanksgiving Day tradition than the Detroit Lions. They have taken the field on this holiday a remarkable 82 times. 

Over the years, they’ve earned 37 wins, 43 losses, and two ties. 

This enduring tradition makes the Lions synonymous with Thanksgiving football, fixing their place in the hearts of fans and becoming a part of American football culture.

Which Two Football Teams Participated In The First Thanksgiving Game?

The first Thanksgiving Day football game showcased Yale and Princeton [1] in a historic matchup on November 30, 1876, in Hoboken, New Jersey. 

This significant event marked the birth of college football on Thanksgiving and culminated in a memorable 2-0 victory for Yale. 

Plus, this significant event laid the foundation for the Thanksgiving football tradition that has become a beloved part of American culture.

Who Had The Most Football Victories On Thanksgiving?

Detroit Lions Player

With a history dating back many years, the Detroit Lions unsurprisingly hold the record for the most wins and losses on Thanksgiving Day. 

However, two other teams, the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers, also have numerous victories in their matchups against the Lions during this holiday tradition. 

“For some football teams, Thanksgiving is a day of rest, a chance for players to recover and fans to spend quality time with their loved ones. But for others, it’s a battlefield, a tradition that fuels the passion of players and fans alike.”

Howkapow Gift Site

These teams’ contributions to Thanksgiving Day football have solidified their places in sports history [2]. But how long do homecoming football games at a high school last?

Which Football Team Had The Most Defeats?

As of the end of the 2022 season, the Arizona Cardinals hold the record for the most regular season losses in NFL history, totaling 790 defeats. 

This extensive history of ups and downs has contributed to the team’s legacy in the league, serving as a testament to their resilience and enduring presence in American football.



Why does the Dallas football team play on Thanksgiving every year?

The tradition of the Dallas Cowboys playing on Thanksgiving every year can be attributed to the team’s former general manager, Tex Schramm, because he wanted to garner more national attention for the Cowboys.

How often have the Giants participated in Thanksgiving games?

During the late 1920s and 1930s, the New York Giants always participated in Thanksgiving games, frequently facing off against local rivals.

Find out when a Super Bowl party should start here.

Why haven’t the Jacksonville Jaguars ever played on Thanksgiving?

The absence of the Jacksonville Jaguars from Thanksgiving games is primarily due to the team’s relatively short history in the NFL. 

Established in 1995, they have had fewer opportunities than longer-standing teams to be part of the Thanksgiving tradition in the league.

Who is the most popular NFL team in the United States?

The Dallas Cowboys hold the distinction of being the most popular NFL team in the United States. 

Their five Super Bowl championships have garnered a massive and devoted fan base nationwide.

Final Words

Thanksgiving Day is sacred ground in American football. It’s a day when family gatherings, feasts, and football converge in a glorious tradition. 

As mentioned above, in 2022, several teams skipped the Thanksgiving Day lineup, with notable absentees like the Miami Dolphins, Tennessee Titans, and Baltimore Ravens.

But now, in 2023, it’s a new chapter. On Thanksgiving Day, you can always count on seeing the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys. 

This year, they’re joined by the Green Bay Packers, Washington Commanders, San Francisco 49ers, and Seattle Seahawks.

So, whether a team is missing or playing, the Thanksgiving Day football tradition keeps going, bringing people together to enjoy the game and good company.


Kimberlee Johnson
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