Packers to face Lions on Thanksgiving Day

Nick Barnett (56) brings down Jon Kitna last year.

Green Bay fans now know at least one of the Packers' scheduled games for this upcoming season after the NFL announced today its nationally televised Kickoff Weekend and Thanksgiving Day games.

The Green Bay Packers 2007 schedule will include a game against the Detroit Lions in the 68th Thanksgiving Day Classic on Thursday, Nov. 22 (11:30 p.m. CT) at Ford Field and will be televised nationally on FOX.

The Packers have traveled to play the Lions in Detroit more than any other of the Lions' opponents in the Thanksgiving Day series. This year's meeting will mark the third time since 2001 that both teams will meet on the holiday, and the 18th time the Lions have played the Packers on Thanksgiving. Detroit holds an 11-5-1 advantage over the Packers.

For 13 consecutive years from 1951-63, the Lions and Packers met on Thanksgiving, with the Lions claiming a 9-3-1 record during that span.

In the most recent Thanksgiving day battle, the Lions defeated Green Bay 22-14 in 2003 at Ford Field. The Packers beat the Lions 29-27 in the Pontiac Silverdome in 2001. Prior to 2001, the Packers won 44-40 in 1986).

The Packers' only other Thanksgiving Day games in the past half-century have been at Dallas, in 1970 and 1994.

The second game (CBS, 4:15 PM ET) will feature the New York Jets against the Dallas Cowboys in Irving, Texas. The final game of the Thanksgiving triple-header at 8:15 PM ET is on NFL Network when the Indianapolis Colts visit the Atlanta Falcons.

The NFL season kicks off Sept. 6 at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC, with the Super Bowl XLI champion Colts hosting the New Orleans Saints in Indianapolis. Sunday, Sept. 9, the FOX national doubleheader game at 4:15 PM ET will send the defending NFC champion Chicago Bears to visit the AFC West champion San Diego Chargers. San Diego (14-2) and Chicago (13-3) led their respective conferences in regular-season wins in '06.

The Sunday night prime-time game (8:15 PM ET) on NBC will feature the NFC Wild Card Playoff teams of last season, as the New York Giants visit the Dallas Cowboys.

ESPN's Monday Night Football features two division matchups on Sept. 10. The first game (7:00 PM ET) will send the Baltimore Ravens to Cincinnati to battle the Bengals. The nightcap (10:15 PM ET) will be an NFC West matchup, as the San Francisco 49ers host the Arizona Cardinals.

The announcement of these national TV games was made today by NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL at the NFL Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Ariz.

The remaining portion of the Green Bay's 2007 regular and preseason schedule will be announced in April.

Quick take: The Lions haven't exactly been world-beaters lately on Thanksgiving Day. Aside from their victory over Green Bay in 2003, Detroit hasn't won on Thanksgiving Day since a 34-9 victory over New England in 2000 for its fourth straight Turkey Day win.

Last year, the Miami Dolphins, behind ex-Lion Joey Harrington whipped the hapless Lions 27-10. Atlanta and Indianapolis did the same in previous seasons.

The Packers should be able to beat the Lions at Ford Field this year, just like they did in September of last year.

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