The Best Thanksgiving Day Football Season Ever
The Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys have been Thanksgiving Day fixtures in the NFL annual scheduling, and there have been some mighty exciting turkey day games as well as some outright turkeys.
In all the years of Thanksgiving Day football, one year stands out as the best ever. It was November 25, 1971, and on that day, the four NFL teams involved were all in tight races for playoff spots.
Detroit hosted Kansas City in the early game. The Lions were 6-3-1, chasing Minnesota but ahead of Washington for the lone NFC Wildcard spot. Kansas City was a game behind Oakland but the leader in the Wildcard race of the AFC. The Lions won that day to move to 7-3-1, dropping the Chiefs to 7-3-1. KC would win out to beat out Oakland, while Detroit would drop its final three to finish 7-6-1 and out of the playoffs.
In the afternoon game, Dallas hosted the Los Angeles Rams. The 7-3 Cowboys had won three in a row once Coach Tom Landry inserted Roger Staubach as full-time starter. The Rams were trying to keep pace with the division leading San Francisco 49ers, and the winner of this game would be in great shape to make the playoffs. Dallas emerged victorious to run its winning streak to four and would keep winning every week until they had their first Super Bowl title. The Rams would miss out on the playoffs by one game.
We have yet to provide the icing on the cake for why 11/25/71 was the best ever Thanksgiving Day for football fans. It was the college game that made this date so special. Undefeated and #1 Nebraska played undefeated and #2 Oklahoma with the winner almost assured of facing the winner of #3 Alabama and #4 Auburn in the Orange Bowl. It has been called the greatest college football game ever, and you can find most or all of it online with a Youtube search.
This Week’s NFL PiRate Ratings
|Current NFL PiRate Ratings|
|A F C|
|N. Y. Jets||97.9||96.8||98.3||97.7||58||40|
|N F C|
This Week’s PiRate Spreads
|Cleveland||New York Giants||-8.8||-7.5||-9.2||49|
|New Orleans||Los Angeles||5.2||5.5||5.5||48|
|New York Jets||New England||-8.9||-8.7||-9.3||45|
If The Playoffs Began Today
PiRate Ratings Playoff Projections
|Kansas City over Indianapolis|
|Baltimore over Denver|
|New York Giants over Detroit|
|Washington over Atlanta|
|New England over Kansas City|
|Oakland over Baltimore|
|Dallas over New York Giants|
|Seattle over Washington|
|Oakland over New England|
|Seattle over Dallas|
|Super Bowl 51|
|Seattle over Oakland|