Packers vs. Lions: 5 Most Memorable Thanksgiving Games in Packers History
Thanksgiving is a day of food, family and of course, football. Every year it is tradition that the Lions play on Thanksgiving, which has given their division rival, the Green Bay Packers, plenty of memorable moments on the holiday.
While the Lions Thanksgiving game hasn't been competitive in a while, this will surely be a game to watch, as the 10-0 Packers visit the 7-3 Lions, a team that has had its struggles over the years but is finally enjoying success.
As we look ahead to what should be a great matchup on Thursday, let's look back at some of the other great games the Packers have played on Thanksgiving.
5. 2001: Packers 29, Lions 27
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In 2001, the Green Bay Packers met the Lions on Thanksgiving for the first time after a 15-year long drought. In this game, the Packers got off to a 29-13 lead, thanks to two Brett Favre touchdowns, a rushing touchdown from Ahman Green and a safety, as well as two field goals.
However, the Lions, who never lie down on Thanksgiving, came back with two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, and were a converted two-point conversion away from tying the game. However, the Packers held on despite the Lions' rally, and won the game 29-27. The Packers would improve to 7-3, while the Lions would fall to 0-10.
This was Brett Favre's first Thanksgiving game against the Lions, but it wasn't the first Thanksgiving game of his career; that game earned the fourth spot on the list.
4. 1994: Packers 31, Cowboys 42
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Brett Favre's first Thanksgiving game was a gem, as he was engaged in a shootout with Cowboys quarterback Jason Garrett.
At halftime, Brett Favre and the Packers would be up 17-6, with Favre already throwing two touchdown passes to Sterling Sharpe. However, the Cowboys came back, scoring three touchdowns in the third quarter to take a slim 25-24 lead.
The Cowboys would pile on to their lead in the fourth, scoring two more touchdowns to take a 39-24 lead. However, Favre would come back with his fourth touchdown pass to Sterling Sharpe, narrowing the lead to 39-31. However, a late field goal would clinch the game for the Cowboys, 42-31.
Despite the loss, this was certainly a game to remember, with Favre having a great day, throwing for four touchdown passes, all to his favorite receiver, Sterling Sharpe.
3. 1956: Packers 24, Lions 20
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In the 1950s, the Lions dominated the Packers on Thanksgiving, winning five in a row before Green Bay finally beat Detroit in the 1956 Thanksgiving game, also the first game to be broadcast on national television.
The Lions would hold a 20-17 lead late in the fourth quarter, but the hero of the day would come from a largely forgotten quarterback in Tobin Rote, who threw a late touchdown pass to give the Packers a 24-20 lead.
With that win, the Packers would finally break their bad-luck streak against the Lions on Thanksgiving. They would win two years later, with Vince Lombardi coaching the team.
2. 1986: Packers 44, Lions 40
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The Packers and Lions wouldn't meet much on Thanksgiving in the 1970s or 1980s, but when they did meet in 1986, it was an instant Thanksgiving Day classic.
The Lions took a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, but the Packers came back and took a 10-point lead themselves by halftime.
The Lions would still keep fighting, and by the fourth quarter, they took a 40-30 lead. However, the Packers would strike back in the fourth, scoring two touchdowns, one of them being an 85-yard punt return with 40 seconds left to play in the game.
Packers quarterback Randy Wright had a good game, but it was another unknown hero in Walter Stanley who had the game of his life, catching two touchdown passes and then returning the game-clinching punt for a touchdown.
The Packers were 4-12 that year, and while they had their struggles, this was certainly a highlight to a rough season.
1. 1962: Packers 14, Lions 26
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Sadly, the most memorable Packers Thanksgiving game is a loss to the Detroit Lions in 1962. The Packers, like they are today, were 10-0, and were off to face the Detroit Lions, a team that they had not had much success with on the holiday.
The Lions defense would dominate the Packers, sacking Bart Starr 11 times, one of which was for a safety.
The good news is that the Packers finished the season with a 13-1 record and won the NFC Championship. But it is a haunting memory for the Packers, especially considering that they could be facing deja vu if they fall to the Lions on Thursday, in effect ruining their unblemished record.