When’s the last time the Detroit Lions won on Thanksgiving?

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Lions play on Thanksgiving every year, but when’s the last time they won on Turkey Day?

In a tradition unlike any other, the Detroit Lions will play on Thanksgiving this year (the 82nd time overall) when they kickoff against the Chicago Bears. Their record is not as bad as you might think on the holiday: 37-42-2.

That said, as might be expected, the Lions have lost 13 of their last 17 Thanksgiving Day games. Many of those losses have been one-sided, including last year’s 41-25 loss to the Houston Texans that wasn’t that close.

But when is the last time the Lions won on Thanksgiving?

When is the last time the Lions won on Thanksgiving Day?

The Lions have lost four straight Thanksgiving games. Their last win came in 2016, 16-13 over the Minnesota Vikings.

Matthew Stafford went 23-for-40 for 232 yards and a touchdown in the game, along with 30 rushing yards. Running back Theo Riddick had a solid all-around game (nine carries for 45 yards, five catches for 13 yards). Add Riddick to wide receivers Anquan Boldin (seven receptions for 69 yards and a touchdown), Golden Tate (five catches for 77 yards) and Marvin Jones (four catches for 54 yards), and Stafford had 21 of his 23 completions to that quartet of pass catchers.

Kicker Matt Prater went 3-for-3 on field goals and 1-for-1 on extra points for Detroit, with two makes from 40 or more yards out.

On the defensive side for the Lions that day against the Vikings, linebacker Tahir Whitehead had 12 total tackles (11 solo) and cornerback Darius Slay had an interception.

The Lions have played the Bears quite a bit on Thanksgiving Day, including back-to-back in 2018 and 2019. Their last win over Chicago on Thanksgiving was in 2014, in the midst of a four-game overall winning streak for them (2013-2016) on the short week holiday during which they beat all three of their NFC North rivals.

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