Thanksgiving has become synonymous with NFL football, especially the Lions and Cowboys. This year, we will also get an NFC South rivalry matchup between the Saints and Falcons on Thanksgiving evening, per NOLA.com. While we know Dallas and Detroit will host Thanksgiving games, the NFL schedule release gives us the official matchups. The NFL also added a Thursday night game with two random teams which this year looks to be the Falcons and Saints at 8:20 p.m. Eastern. This is a rematch of last year’s matchup that ended up being a Saints blowout.
The Cowboys will play the Bills after some speculation they would play the Dolphins on November 28th, per the Sun-Sentinel. The Lions-Bears is the other rumored Thanksgiving game in Detroit.
If the rumors are true, we can expect the Lions-Bears to be the first Thanksgiving matchup on Fox. CBS will carry the Bills-Cowboys game in the afternoon. The Saints-Falcons game will conclude a full day of NFL football on NBC.
Why does the NFL play games on Thanksgiving? The tradition started with the Lions back in 1934 when they took on the Bears. The Pro Football Hall of Fame detailed the history of the NFL and Thanksgiving.
However, when it comes to Thanksgiving Day football, NFL style, most fans first think of the Lions and the tradition that was started in 1934. It was their first year in Detroit after a local radio executive, George A. Richards, had purchased the Portsmouth (Ohio) Spartans and moved the team to Detroit. The Spartans were members of the NFL from 1930 to 1933…
Thus the football-on-Thanksgiving tradition became firmly established in Detroit. With the exception of a six-season gap from 1939 to 1944, the Thanksgiving Day game has been played with no interruptions.
The Detroit Lions Thanksgiving Day heritage gained national attention in another way, starting with the very first game in 1934. Knowing the publicity potential of radio, Richards along with NBC Radio, set up a 94-station network to broadcast the Lions-Bears showdown. The famous announcing team of Graham McNamee and Don Wilson described the action.
Here is a look at the 2019 NFL Thanksgiving schedule.
NFL Thanksgiving Schedule 2019
|Thurs. Nov. 28||Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions||Fox|
|Thurs. Nov. 28||Buffalo Bills at Dallas Cowboys||CBS|
|Thurs. Nov. 28||New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons||NBC|