Thanksgiving Day 2022 was a historic one for the NFL.
Each game was competitive, and the country was tuned in more than ever.
The NFL announced Friday that 138 million people tuned into the three Thursday games, the most ever on Thanksgiving Day.
That number surpassed the previous record of 126 million set in 2016. But there was another record broken that might be even more impressive.
The matchup between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys broadcast on FOX reached an audience of 42 million, the most-watched regular season game ever.
The average viewership for each game was 33.5 million, a Thanksgiving record. That’s a 6% increase from last year, and it beat 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 the rival Cowboys, 28-20. The nightcap 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 victory.
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. The Bills’ Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs shared the honor in the early afternoon game. The Cowboys’ Dak Prescott got the nod in the 4:30 game, and Cousins, Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen each had some turkey in the nightcap.
Madden worked for all three networks that broadcast NFL games on Thanksgiving (CBS, FOX, NBC) during his legendary career. He died in December 2021 at age 85.