Indianapolis Colts history in Thanksgiving games

Have the Colts ever played on Thanksgiving? If so, what’s their record? Here’s all the history on the Colts playing on Thanksgiving.
Indianapolis Colts v Atlanta Falcons
Indianapolis Colts v Atlanta Falcons / Chris Graythen/GettyImages

Thanksgiving is a big holiday for food, family, and football. For decades, the NFL has been synonymous with Thanksgiving. The league offers games all throughout the day, so fans will always have some entertainment. This year, the three games are the Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Commanders, and Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers.

The Indianapolis Colts will not be playing on Thanksgiving this year. Their Week 12 game is on Sunday, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, team owner Jim Irsay has previously made it known that he would love for the Colts to be one of the permanent Thanksgiving day teams. While the league didn’t make that happen yet, Indy has played on the holiday before.

Have the Colts ever played on Thanksgiving?

The Colts have played on Thanksgiving four times in franchise history. The first appearance came in 1965, when the franchise was still in Baltimore. Since moving to Indianapolis, Indy has played three Thanksgiving day games. One in 2004, one in 2007, and one in 2016.

What is the Colts’ record on Thanksgiving?

In the four times that the Colts played on Thanksgiving, they have a 2-1-1 record. Back in 1965, the Baltimore Colts had a 24-24 draw with the Detroit Lions. Oddly enough, both of the Thanksgiving games ended in ties that year, with the Buffalo Bills and San Diego Chargers finishing their game 20-20 that same day.

Almost 40 years later, the Colts, now in Indianapolis, were back in a Thanksgiving day game against the Lions. This time, Indy won 41-9. Three years later, in 2007, Indy returned for a holiday matchup against the Atlanta Falcons. The Colts won that game 31-13.

The last time Indianapolis played on Thanksgiving was in 2016 and things didn’t go well. Indy lost by a score of 28-7 to the Pittsburgh Steelers. That’s how the Colts got their 2-1-1 Thanksgiving day record.