NFL Black Friday Game: History, Info on the New Tradition

For the first time ever, an NFL game will take place on Black Friday, adding another matchup to catch during the league’s traditionally packed Thanksgiving weekend in 2023. The Miami Dolphins and New York Jets face off on November 24 in the inaugural post-Thanksgiving Day matchup, which will be streamed on Prime Video.

“Thanksgiving is synonymous with football and we’re excited to give our fans another day of NFL action during this holiday weekend,” chief operating officer for NFL Media Hans Schroeder said in October of 2022 when the plans for the game were announced. “Amazon is uniquely positioned to partner with us for this game as Black Friday is one of the most important days of the year for their business.”

Learn more about the history of the NFL on Black Friday and everything you need to know about this year’s matchup below, and find tickets to one of football’s newest traditions only at Ticketmaster.

The NFL on Black Friday 2023

The first NFL Black Friday game features two AFC East rivals, the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets. The afternoon game will take place on the Jets’ home turf at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Kick off is set for 3 p.m. ET. Fans at home will be able to catch the game for free on Amazon’s Prime Video streaming service.

What Game is Being Played on Black Friday 2023?

The NFL game on Black Friday will continue the slate of divisional matchups from Thanksgiving Day with an AFC East faceoff between the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets. The Black Friday game will mark the teams’ first of two meetings during the 2023-24 season.

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History of the NFL on Black Friday

The introduction of an NFL game on Black Friday expands the league’s long-standing Thanksgiving weekend celebration, which has boasted at least one matchup on the holiday for more than a century. The Detroit Lions have played on Thanksgiving Day every year since 1934 (except between 1939 and 1944 during World War II), while the Dallas Cowboys began competing in a second annual Thanksgiving Day game in 1966 and have played every year since except for 1975 and 1977. In 2023, the Cowboys are hosting the Washington Commanders while the Lions are hosting the Green Bay Packers. A third matchup on the holiday, which has no particular team anchored to it, launched in 2006. Read more about the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions’ Thanksgiving history here, and revisit eight of the holiday games’ biggest moments here.

The first Black Friday game was initially announced in October 2022, with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell declaring the “entire” Thanksgiving weekend “a football weekend” and later adding that “there’s room for the NFL on Friday.” The two 2023 competitors were confirmed by the NFL in May 2023, priming a faceoff between the Jets’ newly-acquired quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the surging Dolphins under second-year head coach Mike McDaniel.

The NFL’s vice president of broadcast planning Mike North revealed to ESPN that several other teams were in contention, including the Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens. The New York Giants were also considered due to Amazon’s desire to tie the Black Friday match to the country’s largest retail market, but the league ultimately landed on the New York Jets.

As for the future of Black Friday football games, North shared that the NFL plans to “play one first and let’s see what we learn and let’s see what makes sense and let’s see if it works for our fans. I don’t think we were looking on day one to deploy this with a permanent home… But it’s certainly something we should talk about.”

NFL Black Friday Game Results

Although no NFL team has been able to claim the distinction of a Black Friday victory until 2023, both the Dolphins and the Jets have previously played on Thanksgiving Day. The Dolphins have competed seven times on the holiday with an overall record of 5-2, with their most recent appearance in 2011. The Jets have played eight games on Thanksgiving, most recently in 2012, with an evenly split record of 4-4.

With the 2023-24 NFL season just past its midpoint, the first Black Friday game could have major postseason implications for both teams. The Dolphins currently lead the AFC East with a 7-3 record, while the Jets are below .500 with a record of 4-6.

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