NFL Thanksgiving History: 6 Teams That Never Played, Never Won, Or Never Lost On Turkey Day


Did you know that playing professional football on Thanksgiving Day is a tradition that is over 100 years old?

It started in 1920 and has been a mainstay ever since.

In 2023, there are 32 NFL teams.

Six of those teams have either never played, never won, or never lost on Thanksgiving.

1. Jacksonville Jaguars Have Never Played on Thanksgiving

The Jaguars have been in existence for 28 years, played overseas games, and have been in the playoffs eight times since introduced in the NFL, yet the Jaguars have never played on Thanksgiving.

The Jags are the only team to never play on Turkey Day.

2. Cincinnati Bengals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers Are Winless on Thanksgiving

It is a misleading stat.

While the Cincinnati Bengals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have never won on Thanksgiving Day, each team has only played one time.

The Bengals lost in 2010 to the New York Jets.

Brad Smith was the Jets quarterback and Rex Ryan was the team’s head coach.

The Bucs lost in 2006 to the Dallas Cowboys.

Tony Romo and Terrell Owens were the leaders of that Cowboys team coached by Bill Parcels.


3. Baltimore, Carolina, and Houston Are Undefeated on Thanksgiving

Want to wow everyone at your Thanksgiving gathering?

Throw out this fact: the Baltimore Ravens, Carolina Panthers, and Houston Texans are the three teams with undefeated records on Turkey Day.

Baltimore and Houston are 2-0, and Carolina is 1-0.

The Ravens appeared in two Thanksgiving games over a three-year period, in 2011 and 2013, winning both against San Francisco and Pittsburgh respectively.

Carolina’s only appearance yielded a win over the Dallas Cowboys in 2015.

Both of Houston’s wins were over the Detroit Lions in 2012 and 2020.

The 2012 overtime win is one of only six overtime games in NFL Thanskgiving Day history.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving and the triple header of football games that will become part of NFL’s long and rich Turkey Day history.

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