Football and Thanksgiving go hand in hand like turkey and stuffing. It is a tradition like no other. Whether you are home watching the games before, during and after the big meal or having a turkey bowl game of your own, the last Thursday of November is a American football mainstay. While there have been a lot of memorable Thanksgiving Day games over the years, we take a look at some of the best moments and individual performances on Turkey Day all time.
The Juice Sets Thanksgiving Rushing Record
OJ Simpson was one of the greatest running backs of all time before all his off the field issues transpired. The former Heisman Trophy winner got loose against the Detroit Lions in 1976 for a Thanksgiving Day record 272 rushing yards, a record that still holds today.
Griese’s Thanksgiving Day Massacre
Hall of Famer Bob Griese through six touchdowns in just three quarters against the St. Louis Cardinals as his Miami Dolphins won 55-14. His six passing touchdowns are still a Thanksgiving day record. Imagine if he played the other quarter?
LT’s Pick Six
Maybe the greatest pass rusher of all time, Lawerence “LT” Taylor made one of the best plays of his career in the Giants only Thanksgiving Day win ever. The Hall of Fame linebacker picked off Lions QB Gary Danielson and ran it 97 yards to the house to break a fourth quarter 6-6 tie.
Barry Beats The Bears
The 1997 NFL MVP Barry Sanders sliced, juked and shredded a good Chicago Bears defense for 167 yards and three rushing touchdowns. The Lions won the game 52-20.
The Butt Fumble
Perhaps still #1 on SportsCenter’s Not Top 10. Mark Sanchez on a busted play tried to run with the ball, but ran into his own players butt, fumbling the ball, as the New York Jets were blown out by the New England Patriots Thanksgiving Night. The Butt Fumble is arguably the most notable fumble off all time, although it had no direct impact on the result of the game.
The Bus Calls Tails
In 1998, All-Pro running back Jerome “The Bus” Bettis clearly called tails on a coin toss in overtime in hopes of getting the all important first possession. The coin landed tails, but referee Phil Luckett insisted Bettis called heads. The Lions got the ball and scored on their first possession to win the game. Because of the debacle, the league changed the rules to players having to clearly call heads or tails, before the flip of the coin, not while it is in the air.
Cowboys Get Mossed On
Rookie Randy Moss “Mossed” all over the Dallas Cowboys in a 46-36 Minnesota Vikings win. Moss only caught three passes, but all three were for touchdowns of 50 yards or more from quarterback Randall Cunningham.