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Vikings to Play Thanksgiving Game Day at Detroit for 1st Time in 21 Years

View photos through the years of the Vikings on Thanksgiving.

Today marks the first time the Vikings have played at Detroit on Thanksgiving in 21 years.

The division rivals enter this year's game at 6-4 and tied for the division lead.

The Vikings and Lions last met for a Thanksgiving Day matchup on Nov. 23, 1995. The game proved a battle of points.

Detroit jumped up to an early 14-0 lead off a pair of Scott Mitchell-to-Brett Perriman touchdowns, and Minnesota got on the board late in the first quarter when quarterback Warren Moon connected with Jake Reed for a 55-yard score.

The Lions extended their lead when Johnnie Morton caught a 16-yard pass for a touchdown, but the Vikings battled back on consecutive return plays.

Midway through the second quarter, Detroit's Mark Royals kicked a 40-yard punt, and Vikings receiver punt returner David Palmer ran it back 74 yards to the end zone. The play ended up being Palmer's career-long return.

On the ensuing kickoff, Lions returner Ron Rivers gained 16 yards before fumbling the ball. Vikings safety Orlando Thomas recovered the fumble and returned it for a touchdown to tie the game at 21.

Despite the back-to-back scoring plays, however, the Vikings were unable to gain a substantial lead. At one point in the game, they held a 31-24 advantage over the Lions thanks to a Cris Carter touchdown and 49-yard field goal by Fuad Reveiz, but the lead was short-lived. Detroit battled back, finding the end zone twice more and adding two more field goals of its own.

Carter did score once more for the Vikings, but they fell short of the Lions in the 44-38 battle.

Winning has been Thanksgiving tradition for Minnesota

The 1995 game marked Minnesota's only loss on the holiday. Overall, the Vikings are 5-1 on Thanksgiving Day contests and have scored a total of 205 points.

In Minnesota's past two Thanksgiving games, 1998 and 2000, former wide receiver Randy Moss combined for five receiving touchdowns and totaled 307 yards off of only 10 catches.

The 1998 contest was one for the ages. Minnesota recorded six touchdowns that afternoon in Dallas, five of them on plays of 50-plus yards. Moss recorded a 51-yard catch followed by two 56-yarders, running back Leroy Hoard posted 12-yard and 50-yard touchdown runs, and quarterback Randall Cunningham connected with Carter for a 54-yard touchdown.

Minnesota has an overall series record of 71-37-2 against Detroit. The Vikings swept the Lions during the 2015 regular season, but they fell short in the first game of the series less than three weeks ago. On Thursday, they'll look to extend their Thanksgiving game reputation.

Vikings defensive end Brian Robison will be playing on the holiday for the first time in his NFL career. The stage may be a bit bigger, but the veteran said it's ultimately just another game.

"I'll be hungry," Robison said. "I think I'm not going to eat before the game, so that way I'll start imagining [Lions quarterback] Matthew Stafford or somebody as turkey legs."

Below are the team's results over franchise history:

Nov. 27, 1969 at Detroit | Vikings 27, Lions 0

Nov. 26, 1987 at Dallas| Vikings 44, Cowboys 38 (OT)

Nov. 24, 1988 at Detroit| Vikings 23, Lions 0

Nov. 23, 1995 at Detroit| Vikings 38, Lions 44

Nov. 26, 1998 at Dallas| Vikings 46, Cowboys 36

Nov. 23, 2000 at Dallas| Vikings 27, Cowboys 15

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