The NFL's Thanksgiving tradition continues. For yet another year, NFL fans will be treated to a trio of games during the holiday, and we now know which teams will play in those contests.
The NFL released its schedule for 2022 on Thursday, and that revealed the three Thanksgiving matchups. We knew that the Lions and Cowboys would both be playing, as they both have since 1978, but we now know who they are playing and which two teams get the marquee Thanksgiving night contest.
Below is all the information you need to know about the NFL's Thanksgiving schedule for 2022. That includes the history of the NFL playing on the holiday, which dates all the way back to 1934.
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Thanksgiving football schedule 2022
The NFL is treating fans to a few good matchups on Thanksgiving in 2022. The Lions will host the Bills to kickstart the holiday while the Cowboys will take on one of their divisional rivals, the Giants, in the afternoon.
Thanksgiving 2022 will then culminate with a battle between Mac Jones' Patriots and Kirk Cousins' Vikings. Below are the TV details and times for all three games.
|Game||Kickoff time||TV channel|
|Bills at Lions||12:30 p.m. ET||CBS|
|Giants at Cowboys||4:30 p.m. ET||Fox|
|Patriots at Vikings||8:20 p.m. ET||NBC|
Bills at Lions
- Kickoff time:12:30 p.m. ET
- TV channel:CBS
The Bills and Lions will play in the first game on Thanksgiving Day. Buffalo is the big draw here, as they may be the best team in the NFL. They have a high-powered offense led by Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs while also sporting a deep, tough defense that added Von Miller during the 2022 NFL offseason.
As for the Lions, they are entering Year 2 of the Dan Campbell era. The team is still building its core and while Detroit lacks talent as a whole, Campbell managed to get his team to play hard each week in 2021. That was despite starting the season with an 0-10-1 record, so his team should continue to compete week in and week out with a better roster in 2022.
This marks the third time in the last four years that the Bills are playing on Thanksgiving. They won the other two games thanks to strong efforts from Allen and their defense. Meanwhile, the Lions are currently on a five-game Thanksgiving losing streak. It may be hard to snap that against Buffalo.
FULL 2022 SCHEDULES: Bills | Lions
Giants at Cowboys
- Kickoff time:4:30 p.m. ET
- TV channel:Fox
The Giants and the Cowboys are set to square off in a division rivalry clash. Surprisingly, this is just the second time that the Giants and Cowboys are playing against one another on Thanksgiving despite this being New York's 16th appearance.
The Giants are undergoing a rebuild, and 2022 will be their first season under the tag team of coach Brian Daboll and GM Joe Schoen. Daniel Jones is still the team's quarterback, but the Giants are hoping that a strengthened offensive line and a better defense will give him a chance to improve upon his poor performance during his first three seasons as a starter.
As for the Cowboys, their offense suffered some losses in 2022, as Amari Cooper was traded, Cedrick Wilson left in free agency and two offensive linemen — Connor Williams and La'el Collins — departed the team as well. Still, they look like the better team in this game as Dak Prescott has been better than Jones during his NFL career to date.
FULL 2022 SCHEDULES: Giants | Cowboys
Patriots at Vikings
- Kickoff time:8:20 p.m. ET
- TV channel:NBC
The Thanksgiving nightcap should be an interesting contest. The Patriots are playing on Thanksgiving for the first time since 2012 while the Vikings are hosting a game on the holiday for the first time in their franchise's history.
Both the Patriots and Vikings have solid offensive attacks that tend to be ground-oriented. The Vikings rely on Dalvin Cook while the Patriots use a stable of backs including Damien Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson and James White to supplement their passing game.
The Vikings have the better receivers in Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, but Mac Jones proved to be an efficient quarterback for the Patriots as a rookie. He should be able to go toe-to-toe with Kirk Cousins, especially considering that the Vikings' secondary is still a work-in-progress.
This contest will also be a revenge game of sorts for Vikings coach Kevin O'Connell. He was a third-round pick by the Patriots in 2008 but was hardly given a chance to prove himself with the team. Now, he will look to beat Bill Belichick and earn what could be one of the first signature wins as an NFL coach.
FULL 2022 SCHEDULES: Patriots | Vikings
What football teams always play on Thanksgiving?
The Lions and the Cowboys have both played on Thanksgiving for 44 consecutive years, but the Lions' tradition dates back much furtherthan that of the Cowboys.
Detroit began playing on Thanksgiving Day in 1934. The Lions have played on every Thanksgiving since that date, save for a six-season span from 1939-44. The Thanksgiving game was started by then-Lions owner George A. Richards, who used it as a stunt to draw attention away from MLB's Tigers, who were the more popular Detroit team in the 1930s.
The Lions will play on Thanksgiving Day for the 83rd time in 2022; they have put up a 37-43-2 record in their previous 82 games, including a 16-14 loss to the Bears last season. Detroit has lost five consecutive games on the holiday. Their last victory was a 16-13 win over the Vikings in 2016.
Meanwhile, the Cowboys' Thanksgiving game tradition began in 1966 and was designed to help improve the team's popularity. That year, the Cowboys broke their attendance record at the time by drawing 80,259 fans to the Cotton Bowl, where they earned a win over the Browns.
Dallas has played on all but two Thanksgivings since 1966. The only times they didn't play came as a result of the NFL awarding two Thanksgiving games to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1975 and 1977. Those games were designed to boost the national profile of the Cardinals, but ultimately, the Cowboys permanently returned to the Thanksgiving slot in 1978.
The Cowboys are 31-22-1 on Thanksgiving. They are coming off a loss on the holiday in 2021, as they were defeated by the Raiders in overtime 36-33 last season.
Which teams have never played on Thanksgiving?
There is only one NFL team that has never played on Thanksgiving. That would be the Jaguars.
Jacksonville entered the league in 1995 but hasn't yet been tapped to play a Thanksgiving game. They have an away game against the Lions on their schedule for 2022, but they still weren't chosen as one of the Thanksgiving game participants. That said, it stands to reason that at some point during the Trevor Lawrence era, the Jaguars will play on Turkey Day.
There are a few other teams that have logged just one Thanksgiving appearance. They are the Panthers, Buccaneers and Bengals. The Panthers, an expansion franchise in '95 with the Jaguars, made their lone appearance in 2015. They beat the Cowboys 33-14.
Here is the all-time leaderboard for Thanksgiving games, with the Lions, Cowboys and a couple of members of the NFC North unsurprisingly topping the list.
|Green Bay Packers||36|
|New York Giants||15|
|Kansas City Chiefs||10|
|New York Jets||8|
|Las Vegas Raiders||8|
|Los Angeles Chargers||5|
|Los Angeles Rams||5|
|New England Patriots||5|
|San Francisco 49ers||5|
|New Orleans Saints||4|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1|
Both the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions have joined Thanksgiving football games for 43 consecutive years. The Detroit Lions played their first thanksgiving game in 1934. The upcoming match will be their 82nd match. The Dallas Cowboys first started in 1966.Who plays Christmas Day 2022? ›
The reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors will take on the Memphis Grizzlies. It is a rematch of their second-round playoff series during the 2021-22 season. The Boston Celtics, who lost to the Warriors in the NBA Finals, will square off against the Milwaukee Bucks.What teams are playing on Christmas? ›
Which NFL teams are playing on Christmas? The Green Bay Packers play at the Miami Dolphins. The Denver Broncos play at the Los Angeles Rams. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers play at the Arizona Cardinals.Why does Detroit always play on Thanksgiving? ›
In 1934, owner George Richards bought the team and moved it to Detroit. The Lions, at that time, were looking for new ways to draw fans. As a marketing idea, Richards convinced NBC to broadcast a Thanksgiving game on 94 stations across the country. It worked.Why do the Lions always play on Thanksgiving? ›
Why do the Lions always play on Thanksgiving? It all started on Thanksgiving Day in 1934, when owner George A. Richards decided to play on the holiday to attract more fans. Richards was known for his marketing acumen, and his Thanksgiving plan was an immediate hit.How many Football games are played on Christmas? ›
In contrast to Thanksgiving Day games, however, they are not an annual occurrence; as of 2021, there have been 24 Christmas Day games in the NFL's history.How does Christmas fall 2022? ›
In 2022, Christmas Day falls on a Sunday – meaning Boxing Day is on a Monday and December 27 will be a substitute bank holiday once again.How does the NBA decide who plays on Christmas? ›
While there is no specific system to determine for which teams will play the Christmas games, the games usually include the teams that played in the previous season's NBA Finals, as well as the team with the league's reigning MVP.How many NFL games are on Thanksgiving this year? ›
The NFL's Thanksgiving slate is something football fans look forward to every year. The league didn't disappoint with the trio of games scheduled for Nov. 24, 2022. The first of three games begins at 12:30, as the Detroit Lions take on one of the NFL's best teams in the Buffalo Bills.What time do the Cowboys play today on Thanksgiving? ›
4:30 p.m. ET on Fox | Stream: fuboTV
The Cowboys became the second regular Thanksgiving Day participant beginning in 1966.
That year, the NFL moved to three games on Thanksgiving. The Lions and Cowboys remained the hosts of the two early games, while the third matchup sees a different host every season. The 2022 NFL Thanksgiving games will feature the 16th tripleheader after the 2020 game was postponed due to COVID.Has Football ever been played on Christmas Day? ›
The Football League and Christmas Day
The first ever Football League match to be played on Christmas Day was a clash between Preston North End and Aston Villa in 1889.
When combining regular season and playoff win–loss records, the Bears hold the distinction for most overall games played (1,472), whereas the Packers have recorded the most wins (818) and the highest winning percentage (.573), with a 818-606-38 record (1,462 games played) through the end of Super Bowl LVI.What NFL team has never played on Thanksgiving? ›
Here are the number of appearances for all NFL teams on Thanksgiving, including the games in 2021. Note: The only team that has never played on Thanksgiving is the Jacksonville Jaguars.Do the Cowboys always play at home on Thanksgiving? ›
If it seems like the Dallas Cowboys always play on Thanksgiving, well, that's because they do. The Cowboys' annual tradition of playing on the American holiday, which began in 1966, originated as something of a publicity stunt for America's Team.Do the Cowboys play every Thanksgiving? ›
In addition to the Lions, turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes being staples on Thanksgiving, the Cowboys are a regular on the holiday, as well. Their tradition began in 1966 when general manager Tex Schramm signed up to play on that day to get more national publicity.Who has won the most Thanksgiving game Awards? ›
The Detroit Lions Thanksgiving record includes 37 wins, the most of any team. The Lions, Cowboys, Bears, and Packers had the most Thanksgiving appearances. The Detroit Lions Thanksgiving records show they have missed only six seasons. The first Detroit game on Thanksgiving was played in front of 26,000 people.Who has played the most Thanksgiving football games? ›
Some 80,259 fans showed up and a tradition was born. The Cowboys have played on every Thanksgiving Day since -- except in 1975 and 1977.Has Detroit Lions ever won on Thanksgiving? ›
In fact, their current run on Thanksgiving is one of four straight losses, and the last time they did emerge victorious on this day was in 2016, when they triumphed 16-13 over the Minnesota Vikings. Matt Prater scored three field goals for the majority of the points that day.Do Cowboys play on Christmas? ›
Of the 22 games played on Christmas Day in the league's history, Dallas has played in five. This year, the Cowboys don't play on Christmas, but they will be taking on the Washington Football Team the day after Christmas at AT&T Stadium.
The NFL recently released its international schedule for the upcoming season. The Vikings and Saints will face off in London in Week 4, the Packers and Giants will play in London in Week 5, and the Broncos and Jaguars will commence the London portion of the international schedule in Week 8.What team plays on Christmas 2021? ›
Christmas Day 2021 NFL Games
The Cleveland Browns will take on the Green Bay Packers and the Indianapolis Colts will face the Arizona Cardinals.
The last time Christmas was on a Sunday was in 1994 (11 years ago). It will occur again in 6 years (2011, check your calendar), and then 2016, 2022, and 2033.What years has Christmas been on Saturday? ›
|Year||Day Christmas Falls On||Christmas|
|2024||Wednesday||December 25, 2024|
|2025||Thursday||December 25, 2025|
|2026||Friday||December 25, 2026|
|2027||Saturday||December 25, 2027|
Christmas Day 2010: Saturday, December 25, 2010. Christmas Day 2011: Sunday, December 25, 2011. Christmas Day 2012: Tuesday, December 25, 2012.Who scored the most points on Christmas? ›
Nine times out of 10, a list of scoring records includes Wilt Chamberlain, who scored 59 points in a loss to the Knicks in 1961. As it stands, Rick Barry is the only player to score 50 points on Christmas in a win.Is Giannis going to play on Christmas? ›
Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo has cleared the league's health and safety protocols and is expected to play in the team's Christmas Day game against the Boston Celtics, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. This comes after he did on-court work on Friday. Giannis entered the protocols on Dec.Can NBA players refuse to play? ›
Though you wouldn't think so, drafted players in the NBA can actually refuse to play for the team that drafted them.How many NFL games are on Thanksgiving this year? ›
NFL announces schedule for Thanksgiving games in 2022 season
The NFL will continue its traditional Thanksgiving football schedule for the 2022 season, featuring three marquee games in late November.
That year, the NFL moved to three games on Thanksgiving. The Lions and Cowboys remained the hosts of the two early games, while the third matchup sees a different host every season. The 2022 NFL Thanksgiving games will feature the 16th tripleheader after the 2020 game was postponed due to COVID.
Of the 22 games played on Christmas Day in the league's history, Dallas has played in five. This year, the Cowboys don't play on Christmas, but they will be taking on the Washington Football Team the day after Christmas at AT&T Stadium.Do the Packers play on Thanksgiving? ›
In 1951, the Packers began a 13-year stretch of playing the Lions every season on the holiday. Since 2007, Green Bay and Detroit have played on Thanksgiving every other season.Do the Cowboys always play on Thanksgiving? ›
If it seems like the Dallas Cowboys always play on Thanksgiving, well, that's because they do. The Cowboys' annual tradition of playing on the American holiday, which began in 1966, originated as something of a publicity stunt for America's Team.What NFL team has never played on Thanksgiving? ›
Here are the number of appearances for all NFL teams on Thanksgiving, including the games in 2021. Note: The only team that has never played on Thanksgiving is the Jacksonville Jaguars.Who plays every Thanksgiving NFL? ›
Why the Cowboys and Lions always play on Thanksgiving Day, NFL teams' records on the holiday. Since the beginning of time, okay maybe not that long ago, but since very early on in National Football League history, fans have been able to watch the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day.Which NFL team has played the most games on Thanksgiving Day? ›
Some 80,259 fans showed up and a tradition was born. The Cowboys have played on every Thanksgiving Day since -- except in 1975 and 1977.Who is performing at the Lions Thanksgiving game? ›
DETROIT — The Detroit Lions announced today that their 82nd annual Thanksgiving Day Classic on November 25 against the Chicago Bears will feature a halftime performance by multi-platinum artist, philanthropist and entrepreneur Big Sean.What channel do the Cowboys play on Thanksgiving? ›
This year, the celebration begins with the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions game airing on CBS beginning at 12:30PM ET, followed by the San Francisco Giants battling the Dallas Cowboys at 4:30PM ET on FOX. To top off the holiday, watch for the New England Patriots vs. the Minnesota Vikings beginning at 8:20PM ET on NBC.What is on TV on Thanksgiving Day? ›
- 7 a.m. - Today.
- 9 a.m. - 95th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
- 12 p.m. - National Dog Show 2021.
- 2 p.m. - 95th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
- 6:30 p.m. - NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt.
- 8 p.m. - Football Night in America.
- 8:20 p.m. - Sunday Night Football.
The game will be simulcast on both Fox and NFL Network and it will be available to stream on Amazon Prime.What time do Packers play on Christmas Day? ›
GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- For the third time in the last 16 seasons, the Green Bay Packers will play a game on Christmas Day. The Packers will host the Cleveland Browns at 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 25 as part of an NFL doubleheader that day.Who's playing on Christmas Day NFL 2021? ›
What teams are playing on Christmas 2021? The NFL is broadcasting its first Christmas Day doubleheader since 2017. They had one game last season, as the Vikings and the Saints squared off in a game that Alvin Kamara dominated. This year, the Browns will face the Packers to open up the Christmas action.