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NFL Research: Thanksgiving games

Want to sound smart on Thanksgiving? NFL Research provides you with some trivia notes on past Thanksgiving games involving the six teams that are playing Thursday.

Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving

Storied tradition:  The Lions have hosted a Thanksgiving Day game in Detroit for 82 straight years, starting with the 1934 game against the Chicago Bears (Bears won 19-16). 

Thanksgiving record:  The Lions are 36-38-2 in franchise history on Thanksgiving.

Trending up:  Detroit has won each of its last three games on Thanksgiving (beat Eagles in 2015, Bears in 2014 and Packers in 2013).

Thanksgiving throwback:  The Lions' most-recent Thanksgiving Day matchup with the Vikings came in 1995. The Lions won that game 44-28 (their third win in an eventual seven-game win streak that led Detroit to the playoffs in 1995). 

Minnesota Vikings on Thanksgiving

Putting up big-time numbers:  The Vikings have only played six Thanksgiving games in franchise history, yet they are responsible for three of the four highest-scoring Thanksgiving games of all time (1998 against Cowboys, 1995 against Lions and 1987 against Cowboys).

Long time coming:  Minnesota hasn't played in a Thanksgiving game since 2000, when they defeated the Cowboys 27-15.

Thanksgiving throwback:  The Vikings' game at Dallas in 1998 had one of the most memorable Thanksgiving performances -- WR Randy Moss had three receptions for 163 yards and three TDs in a 46-36 Minnesota win.

Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving

Unhappy Thanksgivings:  Washington has lost six of its seven Thanksgiving Day matchups with the Dallas Cowboys (only win came in 2012) .

Thanksgiving throwback:  In 2012 (the last time Washington played Dallas on Thanksgiving), the Redskins beat the Cowboys 38-31, thanks to a 28-point second quarter sparked by QB Robert Griffin III. Washington went on to win the rest of its regular season games in 2012 and made the playoffs.

Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving

Storied tradition:  Dallas has played on Thanksgiving in 49 of 51 seasons in the Super Bowl era (since 1966), including 2016. The Cowboys have hosted a Thanksgiving game in every season since 1978 (39 straight).

Thanksgiving record:  The Cowboys have a 29-18-1 record all-time on Thanksgiving Day (lost the last two).

Thanksgiving throwback:  The last time the Cowboys played a Thanksgiving game without Tony Romo starting was 2010 against the Saints. John Kitna started for Dallas in Romo's stead, and Dallas lost 30-27.

Pittsburgh Steelers on Thanksgiving

Unhappy Thanksgivings:  Pittsburgh has the worst record on Thanksgiving of any of the six teams playing on Thursday (1-6).

Thanksgiving throwback:  The Steelers' only win on Thanksgiving Day came in a road game in 1950 against the Chicago Cardinals.

Indianapolis Colts on Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgivings:  Among the teams that are playing on Thursday, the Colts are tied for the best all-time record on Thanksgiving (2-0-1).

Thanksgiving first:  Thursday night's game will mark the first-ever NFL game played in Indianapolis on Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving throwback:  Peyton Manning had one of his best career games on Thanksgiving Day, 2004. In that game, Manning threw 6 TD passes en route to a 41-9 Colts win over the Lions in Detroit.

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