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Lions drop another Thanksgiving game

Aside from turkey for dinner, a Detroit Lions football game is a customary Thanksgiving tradition. Regardless of their record, they have played a game during the American holiday since the 1930s. However, their fans are hoping for a good result this year, given that their beloved squad is 8-2 coming into their showdown against the Green Bay Packers.

Unfortunately, history hasn’t been on the Lions’ side during Thanksgiving games. They’ve lost their last six games during the holiday, three of which were against the Chicago Bears. The Lions also lost to the Minnesota Vikings in 2017, the Houston Texans in 2020, and the Buffalo Bills last year.

Likewise, sports statistician Jay Cuda pointed out that the Lions are 0-12 in Thanksgiving games since the NFL-AFL merger when the moon is in a waxing gibbous phase. It’s the same moon phase during the Lions-Packers game.

With those trends in mind, the disappointment continues as the Lions dropped their third loss in the 2023 NFL season. The Packers raced to a 20-6 first-quarter lead and never looked back. The Lions responded with a Sam LaPorta touchdown catch after Jayden Reed opened Green Bay’s scoring with a ten-yard scoring reception.

However, the Packers scored two touchdowns in 56 seconds courtesy of a Tucker Kraft catch and a Jonathan Owens fumble return. The Lions’ NFC North rivals never trailed in the game and led by as much as 15 points, 29-14.

The Lions made it a one-possession game after a Josh Reynolds touchdown catch and a successful two-point conversion to LaPorta. But they won’t complete the comeback as the Packers recovered the succeeding onside kick.

While Detroit quarterback Jared Goff didn’t throw any interceptions, he lost three fumbles, including the one leading to Owens’ defensive touchdown. Take that away, and the Lions could have prevailed or sent the game to overtime.

Conversely, Jordan Love had 22 completions for 268 yards and three touchdowns, helping the Packers earn their first win streak this season. Despite playing on the road, the Packers' defense hounded Goff with 12 quarterback hits, while Rashan Gary had three sacks.

It’s back to the drawing board for the Lions as they go on the road for four of their last six regular season games. They will visit the New Orleans Saints in Week 13, hoping to bounce back from their seventh consecutive Thanksgiving loss.

-Lance Fernandez

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