Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago Bears head to the Motor City to take on the Lions in the 75 Thanksgiving Day Classic. The Bears are no strangers to playing on Turkey Day. Here are some fast facts of Chicago Bears Thanksgiving Games:
A version of the Bears have been playing on Thanksgiving since 1920 when the Decatur Staleys defeated the Chicago Tigers 6-0 in the league’s inaugural season. Legend has it the loser of the game would be relegated out of the league. The Staleys won and the next season the Tigers were the only team to fold from the league. Too bad the Staleys didn’t play the Packers that fateful day.
The Bears hold a record of 16-13-2 in their history of playing on Thanksgiving.
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The Bears are 8-7 against the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving.
The Bears won the inaugural Thanksgiving Day Classic against the Lions by a score of 19-16 back in 1934.
The last time the Bears played on Thanksgiving was in 2004. The Bears fell to the Dallas Cowboys 21-7. Jonathan Quinn was the quarterback, going 10-21 for 86 yards and a pair of interceptions. Craig Krenzel came on in relief to go 5-10 for 46 yards. Running back Thomas Jones was the Bears’ leading rusher (46 yards) and leading receiver (48 yards). If that didn’t ruin your Turkey Day, nothing will. The Bears went on to go 5-11 that season, winning only one game after Thanksgiving down the stretch.
The last time the Bears played the Lions on Thanksgiving was back in 1999. The Bears dropped a close one, falling 21-17. The Bears rallied from a 21-0 deficit, but Jim Miller‘s pair of TD passes weren’t enough to outgun Gus Frerotte.
A couple of years before, Barry Sanders had a game to remember against the Bears. In 1997, the Bears got off to a 14-0 lead behind a rushing TD by Raymont Harris and a receiving touchdown by Ricky Proehl. Then Sanders took over. He carried 19 times for 167 yards and 3 TD’s as the Lions cruised past the bewildered Bears 55-20. Check out Sander’s highlight video here.
The Bears recorded the fastest OT victory (at that time) in the 1980 Thanksgiving game at Detroit. David Williams returned the opening kickoff of OT to win the game 23-17. That record stood until 2002 when Chad Morton of the Jets returned the opening kickoff 96 yards to beat the Buffalo Bills. Check out the classic footage of Williams’ return:
The Lions are 1-9 in their last 10 Thanksgiving games. The Lions got past the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers last season 40-10. They had lost the last nine straight before that.
The Lions are 2-10 at Ford Field on Turkey Day. The Lions are 3-11 since 2000 on Thanksgiving, not giving their fans much to be thankful for.
The only Chicago Bears player to ever receive one of the “awards” for a Thanksgiving game was Richard Dent, who was awarded the Turkey Leg Award in 1993. Dent had a sack in the game.
The Lions have played the Packers the most on Thanksgiving, with 21 games against Green Bay. The Bears are the next most team with 15 games against the Lions.
The only time the Lions shut out an opponent on Thanksgiving was in 1979 against the Bears. The Lions shut the Bears out 20-0.
OJ Simpson holds the Thanksgiving Day record for rushing yards in the game with 273 against the Lions in 1976. The Lions’ Bob Hoernschemeyer went for 198 against the New York Yankees (not those Yankees!) in 1950 while Earl Campbell went for 195 against the Cowboys.
Ndamukong Suh stomped Packers’ Evan Dietrich-Smith in 2011. Suh pushed Dietrich-Smith’s head into the turf three times then stomped on his arm after the whistle. He was penalized for unnecessary roughness and ejected from the game. The Packers won the game 27-15. Suh was suspended for two games. Check it out:
Stay tuned to Bear Goggles On for your complete Chicago Bears Thanksgiving game coverage.