2021 NFL schedules revealed

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This rookie matchup is just one of many great games this NFL season.

Alex Kajda, Staff Writer

Although teams knew of their opponents for months, the NFL schedule has finally been put in place for the 2021 season. It’s an exciting time and this year in particular has some very cool matchups. The NFL really did their thing by loading up on opening week, so let’s start with that.

The season will kick off with a Buccaneers vs. Cowboys matchup on Thursday, September 9th at Raymond James Stadium. On paper this seems like an easy win for the defending Super Bowl champs, but the Cowboys may come out with a bit more energy. Dak Prescott will return from his gruesome ankle injury that he suffered last season and hope to return where he left off by putting up incredible numbers passing the football. As much as people hate the Cowboys, they have to respect Dak Prescott and the passion he has for football. Week 1 features another premiere matchup with the Brown playing the Chiefs. The Browns are no longer a basement dweller in the NFL, and this meeting will be a rematch of the close yet controversial divisional round game from last season. Baker Mayfield and Patrick Mahomes should find no trouble lighting up the stat sheets in this one. Green Bay vs. New Orleans is an interesting matchup as well, even though we won’t see Drew Brees at QB for the Saints, and we might not even see Aaron Rodgers as QB for the Packers. That’d be weird, wouldn’t it?

The following week, the Chiefs and Ravens square off in a battle of elite AFC offenses. This meeting occurred last season in Week 3, but the hype was greater than the actual game as the Chiefs easily handled the Ravens 34-20. Hopefully we see the game we’ve been waiting on for two years when these two teams match up this time around.

The Bucs have a very interesting first four weeks, which are highlighted with two marquee matchups in weeks three and four. They play the Rams in Week 3, who with Matthew Stafford at QB I believe have the best chance at competing with the Bucs for the NFC title. The Rams always give the Bucs trouble, so I wouldn’t be surprised with an early loss for the Bucs in this game.

Week 4 is the holy grail of football storylines. Tom Brady facing his former team, the New England Patriots, on Sunday Night in Foxborough. I might have to call of any college activities or classes going on for that day just for how much I need to cherish that moment. It’s going to be an exciting night. This is shown by the cheapest tickets for this game being listed at $1,400.

An AFC Championship rematch of Buffalo vs. Kansas City in Week 5 will certainly be a season highlight. We’ll truly see if Josh Allen can get over that hump of beating the Chiefs, or we’ll see if the Chiefs still hold the throne in the AFC for good. This game will be in Arrowhead, so the Bills winning here would surely be a statement.

Lions vs. Rams in Week 7 is a game for those who like storylines, since Jared Goff and Matthew Stafford will both play against their former teams. Hopefully they don’t end up throwing the ball to the wrong team. Another interesting game is Chiefs vs Titans, a rematch of the 2019 AFC Championship. Jeez, the Chiefs have a tough schedule.

Week 8 could feature a Trey Lance vs. Justin Fields matchup of rookie QBs. These are always fun to watch. Hopefully Fields will have taken over Andy Dalton’s starter spot by this point, but you can’t be too confident with the Bears.

Packers vs. Chiefs in Week 9 is a great game on paper, but that is pending based on Aaron Rodgers’ status with the Packers and whether he’ll be their quarterback this year. Both Mahomes and Rodgers (if he’s with the Packers) will surely light the scoreboard up.

Weeks 12 and 14 feature matchups between the Brown and Ravens, and with how their games went last season, you better be excited for some classic ground and pound football. Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield have played some great games against each other and this shouldn’t be any different. Week 14 also has a Bucs vs. Bills game, two of the top four teams from last season square off in another tough matchup for the Bucs.

Week 16’s Jaguars vs Jets game has a great chance of being a showdown of the top two picks in this year’s draft, barring injury to either. I’m excited for the Lawrence vs. Wilson game and I sure hope they prove their worth this season.

Week 18, yes you read that right (there are now 17 NFL games in a season), has some interesting division matchups in Steelers-Ravens and Seahawks-Cardinals. Both these games should have major playoff implications and surely won’t disappoint as these games almost always provide us with great football.

So there are the highlights for this season’s schedule. Writing this article put me in a big football mood. I hate that it’s another four months until football season, but hey, it’ll be worth it. I miss the endless score checking and watching games on the TV. The Sunday and Monday Night Football themes are nostalgic to me and I can’t wait to see all these games go down this season.