Ever since its inaugural season in 1920, the NFL has traditionally played multiple games on Thanksgiving Day. However, not every one of those games ended well for some of the players, making it difficult for them to enjoy their Thanksgiving dinners. Here are five of the worst NFL Thanksgiving performances of all-time.
5. Joey Harrington, Detroit Lions, 2005
Joey Harrington had such a bad performance on Thanksgiving Day in 2005 that he was benched for old man Jeff Garcia on national television. Before the benching, Harrington was 6-of-13 with 61 yards and an interception in the first half against the Atlanta Falcons.
4. Kellen Clemens, New York Jets, 2007
The Cowboys beat the Jets by a score of 34-3 in this edition of Thanksgiving Day football, and Kellen Clemens had a day to forget, completing just of 12-of-27 pass attempts for only 142 yards and an interception. He failed to lead the offense past midfield until the final moments of the second quarter, which is the ultimate sign of futility in the NFL.
3. Leon Lett, Dallas Cowboys, 1993
Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Leon Lett was mostly known for his Super Bowl blunder, where he nearly recovered a fumble for a touchdown just to have the ball knocked out of his hands before entering the end zone. However, his Thanksgiving blunder ranks as one of the all-time goofs as well. The Cowboys were winning 14-13 when the Miami Dolphins lined up for a field goal attempt. Lett's teammate blocked the kick, and all Lett had to do was not touch the football, as the play would've been ruled dead otherwise. Instead, he tried to recover it for whatever reason and actually knocked the ball forward, where the Dolphins recovered the ball, had another chance to attempt a field goal and successfully converted, causing the Cowboys to lose the game.
2. Gary Marangi, Buffalo Bills, 1976
Before the days of Jim Kelly, the Buffalo Bills had some rocky quarterbacks at the helm. None of this was more evident than when they had Gary Marangi as their starting quarterback. On Thanksgiving Day in 1976, Marangi went 4-21 for a measly 29 yards and an interception. That had to be one of the worst lines in the history of the NFL, not to mention, it took away from the 273-rushing yard performance from O.J. Simpson.
1. Mark Sanchez, New York Jets, 2012
Sure, Gary Marangi had an all-time awful Thanksgiving Day in 1976, but at least he didn't run into his own lineman's butt and fumble the football, as Mark Sanchez did. It was so bad that ESPN made a four-and-a-half long video just on the "Butt Fumble." This is a play that will live on in infamy in Jets' lore, as the 2012 blunder remains to be one of the most mocked moments in the history of the sport.