First prime-time Thanksgiving game in NFL history held in the request of Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt, who had asked the NFL to schedule a third game for years. At the time of the game, Hunt was hospitalized in Dallas, Texas, and died weeks later at the age of 74.
After the Cowboys-Falcons game, Cowboys wide receiverTerrell Owens came to the NFL Total Access set and acknowledged spitting in the face of Falcons' cornerbackDeAngelo Hall early in the contest. There is no video, from that night's telecast or any other source, that is known to have captured the incident, but Owens was fined $30,000 by the NFL.
Sideline reporter Adam Schefter reported that the Oakland Raiders had begun the process to fire head coachArt Shell, which was immediately refuted by Al Davis. Weeks later, the report was true and the Raiders indeed relieved Shell of his duties.
According to Nielsen Media Research, the Broncos-Chiefs game that opened this package was the highest-rated program on cable/satellite TV in the United States on November 23, 2006, with a 6.8 rating (among available households) and an average of 4.2 million households. These numbers are especially remarkable, considering that millions of potential fans were unable to see the game due to their cable systems not making it available to them.
Patriots complete a 16-0 regular season finish, the first undefeated NFL regular season in 35 years. The game was simulcast on NFL Network, NBC, and CBS. The game was also available to watch online at NFL.com/Live. The game was the first three-network simulcast in NFL history and the first simulcast of any kind of an NFL game since the first Super Bowl in 1967, when CBS and NBC both televised the first meeting of the champions of the newly merged National Football League and American Football League.
Patriots QB Tom Brady surpasses Peyton Manning (49 TD; 2004) with his 50th touchdown of the season, a pass to WR Randy Moss, which coincidentally was Moss' 23rd receiving touchdown of the year surpassing Jerry Rice (22 TD; 1987). The Patriots became the highest scoring team in a single season (594 points) surpassing the 1998 Vikings' 556 points.
The Patriots and Giants would meet again in Super Bowl XLII just months later. The Patriots were still on their undefeated streak (18-0) while the Giants were winners of an NFL-record 10-straight road games. The Giants defeated the Patriots in the rematch by a score of 17-14 to claim their third Super Bowl championship.
After being benched following a poor performance the week before, Donovan McNabb led the Eagles to a victory over the Cardinals on Thanksgiving Day. The two teams would later meet months later in the NFC Championship with the Cardinals winning the second matchup.
The 2009 season featured a Friday night game on December 25, as the Thursday that week is Christmas Eve, and the NFL tries not to schedule games that night in deference to the holiday (a lone exception being a Monday Night Football game in 2007 due to scheduling conflicts caused by ESPN's broadcast contracts). Also, the start times were pushed back by five minutes, to 8:20 p.m. Eastern time (except for the December 25 game, starting at 7:30 PM EST/6:30 CST).