In a world of uncertainty, there’s always one annual event that fans in the Motor City can depend on – the Detroit Lions suiting up on Thanksgiving.
And as always, there have been games that fans look back on with admiration and excitement; of course, there are others that don’t quite live up to those emotions.
Let’s take a look back at the top 5 editions of the annual Thanksgiving game held in Detroit:
5: 1997 – Barry Sanders feasts on the Chicago Bears
We all usually eat turkey on Thanksgiving – Lions legend Barry Sanders instead opted to carve up the Chicago Bears. With 167 yards and three touchdowns, Sanders led the Lions to a 55-20 win over their division rivals at the Pontiac Silverdome.
4. 1998 – The infamous OT coin toss
At the start of overtime, head official Phil Luckett flubbed Pittsburgh’s Jerome Bettis’ call of “heads”, instead announcing that “tails” had won the toss. Charlie Batch and Barry Sanders subsequently marched the Lions down the field, which was capped by a winning FG by Jason Hanson.
3. 2015 – Lions fly high over Eagles
Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson connected for three touchdowns on the afternoon, carving up the Eagles in what then-head coach Jim Caldwell referred to as the team’s most complete victory.
2. 1991 – Lions make injured guard Mike Utley proud
11 days following a freak accident that resulted in the paralysis of guard Mike Utley, the Lions won an emotional game over the Chicago Bears at the Silverdome, winning 16-6. One of the highlights of the afternoon was Lomas Brown’s emotional pre-game message to Utley, who was watching from the hospital.
1. 1962: The Infamous Thanksgiving Day Massacre
In what would prove to be the only loss of the season for the Green Bay Packers, quarterback Bart Starr was picked off twice en route to a 26-14 Lions win.