Thanksgiving 2022 was historic for the NFL.
Every game was competitive and the country was more tuned in than ever.
The NFL announced Friday that 138 million people tuned in for the three Thursday games, the most on Thanksgiving.
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That number surpassed the previous record of 126 million set in 2016. But another record was broken that could be even more impressive.
The matchup between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys broadcast on FOX reached an audience of 42 million, the most-watched regular-season game in history.
The average audience for each game was 33.5 million, a Thanksgiving record. That’s a 6% increase from last year, and surpassed the record of 32.9 million from 1993 when there were two games.
The Buffalo Bills beat the Detroit Lions, 28-25, on a last-second field goal, while the Giants fell to their rivals, the Cowboys, 28-20. The night cup between the New England Patriots and the Minnesota Vikings was also a shootout. Kirk Cousins and Mac Jones combined to throw for nearly 700 yards in Minnesota’s 33-26 win.
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Each game also paid tribute to the late John Madden, who became synonymous with Thanksgiving football.
All three games had a Madden Player of the Game. Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs of the Bills shared the honor in the afternoon game. The Cowboys’ Dak Prescott got the nod in the 4:30 game, and Cousins, Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen had turkey in the cup.
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Madden worked for all three networks that broadcast NFL games on Thanksgiving (CBS, FOX, NBC) during his storied career. He died in December 2021 at the age of 85.