Trends Steelers need to avoid to get first Thanksgiving win

Torrey Smith #82 of the Baltimore Ravens (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Torrey Smith #82 of the Baltimore Ravens (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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Eric Hipple of the Detroit Lions (Photo by Owen C. Shaw/Getty Images) /

Thanksgiving 1983

The Steelers first foray into a modern-day Thanksgiving game was an absolute travesty. Despite having the better record and being the favorites to win, the team was decimated by the Lions 45-3. While this team was far from the dominant franchise it was in the ’70s, it still featured plenty of the stars from that era such as Franco Harris and Jack Lambert. Neither were their dominant selves, and the team around them had fallen off in a major way.

The biggest folly on the day was the combination of Mark Malone and Cliff Stoudt completing 11 total passes for 99 yards and five interceptions. Even in an era that was more centered on running the ball, stats like those are hard to overcome. Meanwhile, the Lions, led by running back Billy Sims and his 150 plus total yards and two scores, took an early lead and never looked back.

This game goes to show you that no matter the records before the game, anyone can win an NFL game. The Steelers learned this the hard way and were embarrassed by the Lions in their first modern Thanksgiving bout. No game would be this lopsided for the team again on turkey day, but this was certainly a tough way to start off their limited Thanksgiving day streak.