1-32 ballot, plus every workforce’s most memorable Thanksgiving sport

It is Feast Week for the NFL Energy Rankings, as Thanksgiving is upon us. Together with being a nationwide vacation, Thanksgiving can also be a celebration of soccer, as three video games can be on the docket Thursday (Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions, 12:30 p.m. ET, Fox; Las Vegas Raiders at Dallas Cowboys, 4:30 p.m. ET, CBS; and Buffalo Bills at New Orleans Saints, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC).

That bought us considering — what’s the most notable Thanksgiving reminiscence for every workforce? In order we prepare for turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and all of the fixings, we requested our NFL Nation writers to share their franchise’s most notable Turkey Day second. With 31 of the 32 groups having performed at the least as soon as on Thanksgiving Day (sorry, Jacksonville Jaguars), we now have a large assortment of recollections, from virtuoso performances from Corridor of Fame gamers to errant coin tosses to ice-storm gaffes. One reminiscence was even used twice (you may in all probability guess it, however this is a touch if you cannot: It rhymes with Putt Stumble).

How we rank our Energy Rankings: Our energy panel — a gaggle of greater than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities — evaluates how groups stack up all through the season.

Earlier rankings: 11 | 10 | 9 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | Preseason

Leap to:
NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF

Earlier rating: 3

Most memorable Thanksgiving sport: Beating the Lions 28-14 on Nov. 25, 1948

This was the Cardinals’ final win on Thanksgiving, and it helped the then-Chicago Cardinals continue a dominating season a yr after profitable the NFL title, which occurs to be the newest in franchise historical past. They misplaced a repeat bid within the 1948 championship sport. Since beating the Lions in 1948, they’ve misplaced eight in a row on Thanksgiving however have performed in just one sport (2008) on the vacation since 1985 after being common individuals within the pre-merger days. — Josh Weinfuss

Earlier rating: 1

Most memorable Thanksgiving sport: Dropping 26-14 to the Lions on Nov. 22, 1962

How can a loss be so important? Maybe it was simply what the 10-0 Packers needed at the moment. They would not lose one other sport that season on the way in which to beating the Giants within the NFL championship. What’s extra, it helped open up Thanksgiving for different groups as a result of a yr later, after the Packers and Lions tied on Turkey Day, coach Vince Lombardi — who opposed enjoying on such a brief turnaround — bought the NFL to finish what had been an annual Thanksgiving sequence between the Packers and Lions courting to 1951. The Packers didn’t play in Detroit on Thanksgiving once more till 1984 and performed just one Thanksgiving sport between 1964 and 1983 — 1970 in Dallas. — Rob Demovsky

Earlier rating: 2

Most memorable Thanksgiving sport: Blew out the Lions 47-10 on Nov. 22, 2008

The Titans needed to atone for his or her first lack of the season after beginning the yr with a 10-game profitable streak. Tennessee’s twin backfield of Chris Johnson (16 carries, 125 yards, two touchdowns) and LenDale White (23 carries, 106 yards, two touchdowns) was on full show in the blowout win. Johnson scored on a 6-yard run and later showcased his elite velocity on a 58-yard landing scamper. In the meantime, White powered via the Detroit protection for 2 quick landing runs of his personal. Each backs completed with over 100 yards dashing, and as a workforce, the Titans rushed for 292 yards. — Turron Davenport

Earlier rating: 5

Most memorable Thanksgiving sport: Shutting out the Lions 20-0 on Nov. 27, 1975

The Rams have performed solely 4 video games on Thanksgiving, three towards the Lions and one towards the Cowboys, and their final Turkey Day look was in 1975. Perhaps essentially the most thrilling sport was a 28-21 loss to the Cowboys in 1971, when the groups entered the fourth quarter tied, however that resulted in a loss for L.A., one thing to hardly be glad about. So we’re going with the 1975 shutout over the Lions performed on the Pontiac Silverdome. Quarterback James Harris thew for 157 yards and accomplished three landing passes, whereas safeties Dave Elmendorf and Invoice Simpson every intercepted passes from Lions quarterback Joe Reed. — Lindsey Thiry

Earlier rating: 4

Most memorable Thanksgiving sport: Backup QB Clint Longley leads Cowboys to 24-23 win over Washington on Nov. 28, 1974

There are a lot to select from, however “finest” reminiscence stood out, in order that dominated out Randy Moss’ dominant exhibiting in 1998 and Leon Lett’s ill-timed trek within the ice in 1993. The selection got here all the way down to backup quarterbacks, Longley and Jason Garrett. In 1994, Garrett outdueled Brett Favre to beat the Packers, however Longley’s comeback vs. Washington got here out of nowhere. With Roger Staubach knocked out within the third quarter, the Cowboys have been trailing 23-17 with lower than 30 seconds to play when Longley, often known as the Mad Bomber, hit Drew Pearson for a 50-yard landing to defeat their most heated rivals. — Todd Archer

Earlier rating: 7

Most memorable Thanksgiving sport: Dropping 38-10 to the Cowboys on Nov. 23, 2006

Essentially the most memorable Thanksgiving Day sport for the Buccaneers was a loss? Yep, as a result of it is the one one. That day, the Bucs surrendered 5 landing passes to Tony Romo, who was making his fifth NFL start. Then-Bucs coach Jon Gruden mentioned after the sport, “I believed it was Aikman on the market.” Romo’s fifth TD went to Terrell Owens, who tossed the ball into the Salvation Military crimson kettle. “That is my donation,” Owens mentioned. “I hope it is as a lot because the superb.” The one constructive that day for Tampa Bay — Professional Soccer Corridor of Famer Derrick Brooks overtook offensive sort out Paul Gruber for many profession begins with 184. — Jenna Laine

Earlier rating: 8

Most memorable Thanksgiving sport: Beating the Broncos 19-10 within the first-ever Thanksgiving evening sport on Nov. 23, 2006

Franchise founder Lamar Hunt pushed for years to get the Chiefs a spot as a bunch workforce for a Thanksgiving Day sport, however the NFL would not pull a sport out of Detroit or Dallas. The league lastly rewarded Hunt for his diligence in 2006 when it expanded its Thanksgiving lineup to incorporate a prime-time sport. The Chiefs beat a division rival to win the first Thanksgiving night game and the one Thanksgiving sport ever performed at Arrowhead Stadium. Hunt died three weeks later on the age of 74. — Adam Teicher

Earlier rating: 9

Most memorable Thanksgiving sport: Ravens overcome inventive interference to beat Steelers 22-20 on Nov. 28, 2013

One of the vital memorable — and debated — moments within the Ravens-Steelers rivalry occurred when Steelers coach Mike Tomlin interfered with a potential Jacoby Jones kickoff return for a landing. Simply 38 yards from the tip zone, Tomlin stood in a restricted space that separates the sideline from the enjoying discipline, together with his again turned to the motion and his proper foot squarely within the discipline of play. Tomlin hopped to his left on the final second, however Jones needed to swerve to his proper to keep away from hitting him. That slight adjustment to his path allowed Jones to get caught from behind by Steelers cornerback Cortez Allen. “I do not blame him. I nonetheless love him,” Jones instructed ESPN final yr. “I would do the identical factor to me.” — Jamison Hensley

Earlier rating: 10

Most memorable Thanksgiving sport: Scoring on the “Butt Fumble” in a 49-19 rout of the Jets on Nov. 22, 2012

The Butt Fumble. Does any extra should be mentioned? A dominant efficiency on the Meadowlands was highlighted by a single play — Jets QB Mark Sanchez shedding the soccer after operating into the butt of his personal offensive lineman who had been thrust again and the Patriots scoring on the restoration — that continues to be well-known to today. — Mike Reiss

Earlier rating: 16

Most memorable Thanksgiving sport: Peyton Manning goes off in 41-9 rout of Lions on Nov. 25, 2004

Manning threw six touchdown passes in less than three quarters to provide him 41 on the season in simply 11 video games. That was solely the beginning of a formidable afternoon for the long run Corridor of Famer. It was the fifth straight sport that Manning threw for at the least 4 touchdowns, breaking the earlier file set by Dan Marino. “He is the very best that is ever performed this sport so far as quarterbacks are involved,” receiver Brandon Stokley mentioned after the sport. “When he is retired, they’re going to examine all people to Peyton Manning, definitely.” — Mike Wells

Earlier rating: 12

Most memorable Thanksgiving sport: Chargers beat Cowboys 28-6 on Nov. 23, 2017

The Chargers defeated a beat-up Dallas workforce of their first Thanksgiving sport in 48 years. Philip Rivers threw for 434 yards on 27-of-33 passing, and Keenan Allen caught 11 passes for 172 yards and a landing. They bested a Cowboys workforce with out a number of key gamers, together with operating again Ezekiel Elliott, who was sidelined due to a six-game suspension stemming from a home violence investigation. Earlier than that, the newest time the Chargers performed on Thanksgiving was in 1969, after they beat the Oilers within the Astrodome 21-17. — Shelley Smith

Earlier rating: 6

Most memorable Thanksgiving sport: Payments topple Cowboys 26-15 on Nov. 28, 2019

O.J. Simpson had a record-breaking efficiency on Thanksgiving Day in 1976, dashing for 273 yards on 29 carries and ending with two scores. However that sport ended with a loss to the Lions throughout a 2-12 season for Buffalo. As a substitute, some recency bias is leaking in, and it is the last Bills game on Thanksgiving that will get the nod. It was the workforce’s first sport on the vacation in 25 years. The win over the Cowboys was a coming-out assertion for the Payments and quarterback Josh Allen and helped put them on the nationwide radar, with excessive expectations remaining ever since. — Alaina Getzenberg

Earlier rating: 13

Most memorable Thanksgiving sport: Misplaced to the Jets 26-10 on Nov. 25, 2010

It is easy for a sport to be memorable when it is the one one in all its variety. Cincinnati has performed in only one Thanksgiving Day sport — a blowout loss to Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets in 2010. Cincinnati’s lowlights included a kickoff return allowed for a landing and QB Carson Palmer sacked in the long run zone for a security. The Bengals gained a measly 163 whole yards, which was becoming for a tough season that ended with a 4-12 file. However issues turned across the subsequent yr. The Bengals drafted QB Andy Dalton and WR A.J. Green and made the playoffs for the subsequent 5 seasons. — Ben Child

Earlier rating: 21

Most vibrant Thanksgiving reminiscence: 49ers throttle the Cowboys 31-10 on Nov. 23, 1972

The 49ers have performed on Thanksgiving solely 5 occasions, however any win over the Cowboys in such convincing trend leaves an enduring reminiscence. It was particularly memorable for a younger quarterback named Steve Spurrier, who had stepped in for an injured John Brodie the week earlier than in a win at Chicago after which adopted by helming a victory towards rival Dallas. “We went down there and practiced at some highschool someplace, and we truly beat the Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day,” Spurrier mentioned. “That was a very good highway journey for the 49ers.” The Niners went on to win the division, however the Cowboys bought their revenge with a 30-28 victory within the NFC divisional spherical. — Nick Wagoner

Earlier rating: 14

Most memorable Thanksgiving sport: Browns fall to the Lions 13-10 on Nov. 23, 1989

The Browns have by no means received on Thanksgiving Day — and have not performed on the vacation since 1989. That Thanksgiving, the Browns gave up 145 dashing yards to a rookie operating again named Barry Sanders. Regardless of that, that they had an opportunity to tie the sport late, but missed a discipline aim. Nonetheless, Cleveland rebounded from the defeat to seize its division title, win a playoff sport and attain the AFC Championship Sport for the third time in 4 seasons. — Jake Trotter

Earlier rating: 19

Most memorable Thanksgiving sport: Randy Moss dazzles in 46-36 win over Cowboys on Nov. 26, 1998

Moss scored each time he caught the ball within the Vikings’ Thanksgiving Day demolition of the Cowboys‘ protection throughout the receiver’s rookie season. All three of Moss’ touchdowns have been caught on deep balls of 51, 56 and 56 yards (he totaled three receptions for 163 yards and three TDs), and he helped Minnesota prolong its profitable streak to 4 video games. The Vikings went on to attain a then-NFL-record 556 factors and completed the yr with a 15-1 file. Their season got here to an finish towards Atlanta within the NFC Championship Sport. — Courtney Cronin

Earlier rating: 15

Check Out  Women's finalist Sofia Kenin is all about winning at the 2020 French Open

Most memorable Thanksgiving sport: Referee Phil Luckett flubs Jerome Bettis’ coin toss name in additional time loss to Lions on Nov. 26, 1998

Thanksgiving Day video games have not been variety to the Steelers. The franchise is 1-7 on Thanksgiving Day, together with the 2013 matchup against the Ravens during which Mike Tomlin stepped on the sector and interfered with Jacoby Jones’ would-be kickoff-return landing. That one value Tomlin a $100,000 superb. However even perhaps costliest was the coin flip fiasco with Bettis and Luckett within the Steelers-Lions overtime period in 1998. Because the captain of the away workforce, Bettis mentioned he referred to as tails. Luckett heard heads. The coin landed on tails. In replays, it feels like Bettis shortly mentioned head-tails, and Luckett went with the primary name he heard. Regardless of Bettis’ protests, the Lions bought the ball, kicked a discipline aim and received the sport. — Brooke Pryor



Jerome Bettis tells the story of how an additional time coin flip on Thanksgiving was one of many wildest moments of his profession.

Earlier rating: 11

Most memorable Thanksgiving sport: Saints defeat Falcons 31-17 on Nov. 22, 2018

The Saints even have three good choices right here, as a result of they’re 3-0 all time on Thanksgiving — together with Malcolm Jenkins’ forced fumble at Dallas in 2010 and Cameron Jordan’s 4 sacks and Shy Tuttle’s stiff-arm at Atlanta in 2019. However I will go along with their solely house victory on Thanksgiving evening, after they bought to feast in entrance of the house crowd towards their greatest rivals. This sport capped a 10-game win streak for New Orleans at the time, and Drew Brees grew to become the primary QB in NFL historical past to throw landing passes to 4 completely different undrafted gamers. — Mike Triplett

Earlier rating: 17

Most memorable Thanksgiving sport: Panthers keep undefeated with 33-14 win over Cowboys on Nov. 26, 2015

Of their first and solely Thanksgiving Day sport, the Panthers made essentially the most of it by returning two of Tony Romo’s three interceptions for touchdowns and improved their record to 11-0. Additionally they knocked Romo out of the sport with a collarbone harm that already had pressured him to overlook seven video games. Cam Newton, en path to the NFL MVP, did not do a lot on this one exterior of 12 rushes for 45 yards and a landing. It was the protection led by Luke Kuechly that carried the day. As Newton mentioned, the protection introduced its “A-game.” — David Newton

Earlier rating: 18

Most memorable Thanksgiving sport: Raiders defeat defending AFL champion Chiefs 44-22 on Nov. 23, 1967

The Raiders have performed solely seven occasions on Thanksgiving. They’ve a 3-4 file and are using a three-game shedding streak on Turkey Day. However on Nov. 23, 1967, the Raiders blew out the Chiefs in Kansas Metropolis, a sixth straight victory en path to the AFL Championship Sport. Willie Brown and Warren Powers every picked off Len Dawson twice, each had a pick-six and Daryle Lamonica hit Fred Biletnikoff, who had six catches for 158 yards, for a landing. The Raiders finally fell to the Packers in Tremendous Bowl II to finish that season. — Paul Gutierrez

Earlier rating: 22

Most memorable Thanksgiving sport: Eagles rout Cardinals 48-20 on Nov. 27, 2008

The Eagles entered with a 5-5-1 file and with their offense in a rut, having scored 20 factors whole of their earlier two video games. It was so unhealthy that coach Andy Reid determined to bench quarterback Donovan McNabb at halftime throughout a loss to the Ravens the earlier week. McNabb bounced back in a big way on Thanksgiving, tossing 4 touchdowns, whereas Brian Westbrook racked up 130 whole yards and 4 scores in a Philadelphia romp. The Eagles received 4 of 5 to shut the common season, and superior all the way in which to the NFC Championship Sport … the place they finally fell to this identical Cardinals workforce. — Tim McManus

Earlier rating: 20

Most memorable Thanksgiving sport: Broncos beat Cowboys 24-21 in additional time on Nov. 24, 2005

Each groups have been in first place on the time, and for most of the Broncos’ devoted, it’s going to all the time be the Ron Dayne game. Dayne did not know he was going to play such a major function within the sport till Thanksgiving morning when operating again Tatum Bell was a late scratch because of a chest harm. Dayne had carried the ball simply 13 occasions that season earlier than he rushed for 98 yards towards the Cowboys that day — 55 of these on the second play of additional time that arrange kicker Jason Elam for the 24-yard profitable discipline aim. The Broncos improved to 9-2 with the win and went on to win the AFC West at 13-3. — Jeff Legwold

Earlier rating: 25

Most memorable Thanksgiving sport: RG III places on a present in 38-31 win over Cowboys on Nov. 22, 2012

Electrifying rookie Robert Griffin III entertained a national audience in a 38-31 win over Dallas — the primary time Washington had defeated the Cowboys on Thanksgiving (they’re now 2-8 vs. Dallas on the vacation). Griffin had proven he might run all season, however on this sport it was his arm that torched Dallas. Griffin threw 4 landing passes, together with three in a 28-point second quarter. With Dallas centered on the zone run reads, Griffin attacked them with play-action: He accomplished 6 of 9 passes for 211 yards and three touchdowns with this look. That it occurred in Griffin’s house state and close to the place he performed faculty ball at Baylor made it all of the extra enjoyable for the eventual offensive rookie of the yr. — John Keim

Earlier rating: 24

Most memorable Thanksgiving sport: Falcons beat the Lions 27-7 on Nov. 24, 2005

That is largely by default — Atlanta performed 4 occasions on Thanksgiving, and the others have been a double-digit loss to Indianapolis and two losses to the Saints. The Falcons took a 27-0 lead on Detroit, permitting Michael Vick (12-for-22, 146 passing yards, two passing TDs, one INT) to sit down for a part of the fourth quarter. It will be one of many excessive factors of the season for the Falcons, who have been 7-4 after the win earlier than ending the season at 8-8. Sadly for the Falcons, they missed the playoffs — and Taylor Swift singing the nationwide anthem in Detroit by a yr, as she carried out earlier than the Dolphins-Lions Thanksgiving sport the next season. — Michael Rothstein

Earlier rating: 28

Check Out  A new voice has helped find the old Rory McIlroy

Most memorable Thanksgiving sport: Dolphins get last-second 16-14 victory over Cowboys in an ice storm on Nov. 25, 1993

In probably the most inconceivable finishes you possibly can ever ask for, the Dolphins’ potential profitable discipline aim was blocked within the sport’s waning seconds — however Cowboys defensive lineman Leon Lett touched the ball after it was blocked, permitting the Dolphins to get better. Miami kicker Pete Stoyanovich then nailed a 19-yarder to beat Dallas — the Dolphins doing so with out quarterback Dan Marino, who tore an Achilles and was out for the season. The Dolphins would not win one other sport that season, however the reminiscence lives on for everybody who witnessed one in all Thanksgiving Day’s most unforgettable video games. — Marcel Louis-Jacques

Earlier rating: 27

Most memorable Thanksgiving sport: LT leads Giants previous Lions on Nov. 25, 1982

There will not be many video games to select from right here. The Giants have performed solely 4 Thanksgiving Day video games within the fashionable period. That is their solely win. It was capped by a legendary Lawrence Taylor second. He had 92-yard interception return for a landing regardless of sitting out the beginning of the sport throughout this strike-shortened season. It was the one landing of the sport and gave the Giants their first win that yr. — Jordan Raanan

Earlier rating: 26

Most memorable Thanksgiving sport: Bears upset Packers 17-13 at soggy Lambeau Subject on Nov. 26, 2015

Any win over division-rival Inexperienced Bay is valuable. It poured rain all day main as much as the Thanksgiving evening sport, but it surely was the Packers who ended up all moist. Heavy underdogs in former head coach John Fox’s first season, the Bears somehow pulled out a victory as quarterback Jay Cutler handed for 200 yards and a landing. For Cutler, it was his first-ever win at Lambeau Subject. What made it even sweeter for the Bears: The Packers selected that evening to honor Corridor of Fame quarterback Brett Favre at halftime. Discuss your all-time backfires. — Jeff Dickerson

Earlier rating: 23

Most memorable Thanksgiving sport: Seahawks rejoice at midfield after 14-3 win over 49ers on Nov. 27, 2014

It was one factor for the Seahawks at hand their archrivals a 16-point loss whereas the entire nation watched in prime time. What occurred subsequent needed to make the 49ers’ pores and skin crawl: Russell Wilson and Richard Sherman chomping on turkey legs on the 49ers’ logo at midfield of their new stadium, the place NBC had arrange a Thanksgiving unfold for its postgame interview. It needed to be particularly tasty for Sherman given his animus towards Niners QB Colin Kaepernick — whom he picked off twice that evening — and coach Jim Harbaugh. Dessert got here subsequent within the type of a tweet from 49ers proprietor Jed York, who apologized to followers for a efficiency that he mentioned “wasn’t acceptable.” — Brady Henderson

Earlier rating: 31

Most memorable Thanksgiving sport: Texans whip Lions 41-25 on Nov. 26, 2020

The Texans have been 4-12 final season, however one of many workforce’s highlights got here on Thanksgiving Day. In a 41-25 victory over the Detroit Lions, Deshaun Watson performed his finest sport of the yr, throwing for 318 yards and 4 touchdowns in entrance of a nationwide viewers. The Texans’ different landing within the sport got here on a pick-six by J.J. Watt. Houston has performed in solely two video games on Thanksgiving — each towards the Lions — and is 2-0. — Sarah Barshop

Earlier rating: 30

Most memorable Thanksgiving sport: Have by no means performed on Thanksgiving

The most certainly purpose for the Jaguars not having a Thanksgiving sport is the NFL needs to forestall viewers from getting indigestion after a giant meal. Particularly over the previous decade, throughout which the Jaguars have misplaced 10 or extra video games 9 occasions (the one exception was 2017). Aside from the compulsory Thursday evening sport, the Jaguars simply aren’t a draw for a nationwide viewers: It has been 13 years because the Jaguars performed a Sunday evening sport (a 26-21 loss to Pittsburgh on Oct. 5, 2008) and 10 years since they performed a Monday evening sport (a 38-14 loss to San Diego on Dec. 5, 2011), each of that are the longest energetic streaks within the NFL, per ESPN Stats & Info analysis. — Mike DiRocco



Gamers, coaches and members of the New York media look again on one of many greatest blunders in NFL historical past.

Earlier rating: 29

Most vibrant Thanksgiving reminiscence: The Butt Fumble in 49-19 loss to the Patriots on Nov. 22, 2012

It is a no-brainer: The Butt Fumble — and it goes past the slapstick nature of the play. The play got here to represent a dysfunctional interval within the Jets’ historical past. A couple of weeks after the play, Sanchez was benched, and it successfully ended his run because the Jets’ beginning quarterback. After the season, additionally remembered for the failed Tim Tebow experiment, GM Mike Tannenbaum was fired. He was changed by John Idzik, whose relationship with holdover coach Rex Ryan finally turned poisonous. In some methods, the franchise hasn’t recovered from the Butt Fumble, the disastrous 2012 season and its fallout. — Wealthy Cimini

Earlier rating: 32

Most memorable Thanksgiving sport: Lions blow out Bears 55-20 on Nov. 27, 1997

In Motown, the annual Turkey Day traditional nearly has an area Tremendous Bowl-type really feel to it, with the buildup, custom and pleasure amongst loyal followers — which initially began in 1934. However even within the current day, it is exhausting to say the Lions franchise with out it being highlighted by a legendary second from Corridor of Fame operating again Barry Sanders. The 1997 Thanksgiving Day sport was a type of particular moments on the Pontiac Silverdome, the place his 167 dashing yards and three touchdowns helped the Lions beat the Chicago Bears 55-20. Sanders helped Detroit come from behind with large landing runs of 40, 25 and 15 yards after the Lions trailed 17-3 within the first half. — Eric Woodyard

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons