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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Zach Kruse

Packers win over Lions was most-watched early Thanksgiving Day game ever

Jordan Love’s breakout performance and the Green Bay Packers’ upset win over the Detroit Lions at Ford Field came in front of a record Thanksgiving viewing audience.

According to the NFL, Nielsen and first-party Digital, the Packers’ 29-22 win over the Lions averaged 33.8 million viewers on FOX over TV and digital, making it the most-watched early Thanksgiving Day game ever.

Viewership was up six percent over last year and peaked at over 41 million viewers late in the game as the Packers pulled away.

Love and the Packers scored on their opening two possessions, got a defensive touchdown to go up 20-6 and used a third touchdown pass from Love and a late onside kick recovery to seal the victory over the Lions, the current leader in the NFC North.

Given the circumstances, including the Packers’ injury situation, the strength of the Lions at home and the result of the first meeting, Green Bay’s win in Detroit was a signature moment in the first year of the Love era and one of the team’s best victories since hiring Matt LaFleur in 2019. And a big chunk of the country tuned in to see some of it during Thanksgiving.

The average viewers between the three Thanksgiving Day games was 34.1 million, another record.

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