Thanksgiving features three NFL games along with one college football matchup on TV today in celebration of the holiday. Thanksgiving is synonymous with football as the Lions and Cowboys always host games as part of an NFL tradition. The Egg Bowl is the lone college football game on Thanksgiving as Mississippi State takes on Ole Miss in a major rivalry game.
Why do the Cowboys and Lions play each year on Thanksgiving? The Lions’ Thanksgiving Day games date back to the 1930’s when Lions owner George Richards came up with the idea, per Mental Floss. Richards owned a radio station and wanted a football game that he could broadcast on Thanksgiving and the idea took off as one of the team’s most popular games.
Dallas came a little later to the Thanksgiving party but enjoyed the same sort of popularity. Cowboys general manager Tex Schramm helped begin the Thanksgiving game in Dallas starting in 1966. The team broke the attendance record at the time with 80,259 fans at the Cotton Bowl, per Mental Floss.
The NFL later implemented a tradition of the Lions and Cowboys playing every Thanksgiving while their opponents vary each season. The league has also added a primetime matchup to the Thanksgiving lineup which features two different teams each season. This year, the game happens to be an NFC South matchup between the Saints and Falcons.
The Bills-Cowboys Matchup Headlines the Thanksgiving Day Games
The Lions host the Bears to kick off the Thanksgiving Day schedule at 12:30 p.m. Eastern on Fox. Dallas and Buffalo is the marquee matchup of the day and is the only game featuring two teams with a winning record. The Cowboys take on the Bills at 4:30 p.m. Eastern on CBS. Finally, the Saints travel to Atlanta for the primetime Thanksgiving finale on NBC at 8:20 p.m. Eastern.
The Cowboys are looking to bounce back after a narrow loss to the Patriots. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was critical of his team after they came up short in Foxborough.
“Disappointed is not the word,” Jones noted after the loss, per NBC Sports. “There’s no question that we were given an opportunity, there were things we could have taken advantage of.”
The Lions will likely be without quarterback Matthew Stafford in their matchup with the Bills. Jeff Driskel has also been dealing with an injury of his own to make matters worse for Detroit. Neither the Bears or Lions have had the season they had hoped for, but the Bears still have a chance at the postseason with a little help.
At the beginning of the season, the Saints-Falcons game was expected to play a major role in the battle for the NFC South. The Saints are one of the top teams in the conference, but the Falcons have underwhelmed in 2019. Atlanta would still like nothing more than to play spoiler to their rivals in the midst of their playoff chase.
Here is a look at the NFL Thanksgiving Day schedule along with the remaining Week 13 slate of games.
NFL Thanksgiving Schedule 2019: Thursday, November 28th
Here is the 2019 NFL Thanksgiving Day schedule.
|Bears vs. Lions||12:30 p.m. Fox|
|Bills vs. Cowboys||4:30 p.m. CBS|
|Saints vs. Falcons||8:20 p.m. NBC|
NFL Week 13 Schedule: Sunday, December 1st
Here is a look at the Week 13 schedule for Sunday, December 1. The Seahawks square off with the Vikings on Monday Night Football at 8:15 p.m. Eastern the following night.
|Titans vs. Colts||1 p.m. CBS|
|Jets vs. Bengals||1 p.m. CBS|
|Redskins vs. Panthers||1 p.m. CBS|
|49ers vs. Ravens||1 p.m. Fox|
|Bucs vs. Jaguars||1 p.m. Fox|
|Browns vs. Steelers||1 p.m. CBS|
|Packers vs. Giants||1 p.m. Fox|
|Eagles vs. Dolphins||1 p.m. Fox|
|Rams vs. Cardinals||4:05 p.m. Fox|
|Chargers vs. Broncos||4:25 p.m. CBS|
|Raiders vs. Chiefs||4:25 p.m. CBS|
|Patriots vs. Texans||8:20 p.m. NBC|