The history of NFL Thanksgiving games — plus a look at who’s playing this year

New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) and running back Mark Ingram (22) eat turkey drumsticks after their Thanksgiving night game against the Atlanta Falcons in New Orleans, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018. The Saints won 31-17.

Picture this: Your turkey’s been basted, your pies are cooling and you finally have some time on Thanksgiving to relax. Grab a seat on the couch, turn the TV on and tune into the holiday’s most famous form of entertainment: football games.

Here’s a look at who is playing football on Thanksgiving this year, as well as at the NFL games scheduled for Black Friday and Christmas.

What NFL teams are playing on Thanksgiving 2023?

Three NFL games are set for Thanksgiving 2023, according to

Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions

  • When? 11:30 a.m. MST.

  • Where? Ford Field in Detroit.

  • How to watch? Fox.

Washington Commanders at Dallas Cowboys

  • When? 2:30 p.m. MST.

  • Where? AT&T Stadium in Dallas.

  • How to watch? CBS.

San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks

  • When? 6:20 p.m. MST.

  • Where? Lumen Field in Seattle.

  • How to watch? NBC.

<a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Buffalo Bills;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Buffalo Bills</a> wide receiver <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Stefon Diggs;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Stefon Diggs</a> (14), safety <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Jordan Poyer;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Jordan Poyer</a> (21), quarterback Josh Allen (17) and tight end Dawson Knox (88) eat a Thanksgiving turkey while being interviewed after a game against the New Orleans Saints, Thursday, Nov. 25, 2021, in New Orleans. | Tyler Kaufman, Associated Press

What is the history of NFL football on Thanksgiving Day?

The Detroit Lions played a key role in the rise of football games on Thanksgiving, according to ESPN. The team started hosting annual games on the holiday in 1934, skipping the tradition only when the country was involved in World War II (1939-1944).

“The Bears, the defending back-to-back world champions, beat the Lions 19-16 in front of 26,000 fans at the University of Detroit Stadium” in the first Thanksgiving game on Nov. 29, 1934, ESPN reported.

The Dallas Cowboys got in on the Lions’ Turkey Day tradition in 1966, when they started hosting an annual Thanksgiving game of their own. “The Cowboys have played on every Thanksgiving Day since — except in 1975 and 1977,” per ESPN.

With at least two games happening on Thanksgiving for much of the past 60 years, nearly all NFL franchises have gotten in on the action. The Jacksonville Jaguars are the only team to have never taken part in a Thanksgiving game, according to Sporting News.

Does the NFL play on Black Friday?

In 2023, the NFL is building on its Thanksgiving success story and putting on its first-ever Black Friday game.

The New York Jets will host the Miami Dolphins on Friday, Nov. 24, at 1 p.m. MST in a game that will be exclusively broadcast on Amazon Prime Video.

“The game will be free to watch for all fans, regardless of whether they pay for a Prime membership,” USA Today reported in May.

What NFL games are on Christmas Day?

The NFL will also hold games on Christmas this year, since the holiday falls on a Monday, according to Fox Sports.

Here’s a look at who is playing football on Christmas:

Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs

  • When? 11 a.m. MST.

  • Where? Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.

  • How to watch? CBS, Nickelodeon.

New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles

  • When? 2:30 p.m. MST.

  • Where? Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

  • How to watch? Fox.

Baltimore Ravens at San Francisco 49ers

  • When? 6:15 p.m. MST.

  • Where? Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.

  • How to watch? ABC.