NFL Prime-Time Schedule 2021: List of Monday, Thursday and Sunday Night Games

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVMay 13, 2021

FILE - Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady throws against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 55 football game in Tampa, Fla., in this Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, file photo. The NFL is returning to London in October and Tom Brady begins his pursuit of an eighth Super Bowl title against Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys when Tampa Bay hosts the league’s annual kickoff game on Sept. 9. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, File)
AP Photo/Ashley Landis, File

The NFL released its full schedule on Wednesday, meaning we now have a look at this season's prime-time games on Monday, Thursday and Sunday nights. 

As always, Monday Night Football will continue on ESPN, while Sunday Night Football is broadcasted on NBC. Thursday Night Football will be on Fox (with the exception of the season's opening contest on NBC). Amazon Prime Video will also feature 11 of the Thursday Night Football starting on Oct. 7.   

Below, we'll take a look at the full prime-time schedule and break down some games to watch.


Monday Night Football

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

🚨 THE 2021 MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL SCHEDULE IS HERE 🚨 pic.twitter.com/eHjN27ttc4

Thursday Night Football

NFL Network @nflnetwork

It's the biggest season ever...<br><br>And football is BACK on NFL Network in 2021! 🏈 pic.twitter.com/jjD0dl8BL2

Sunday Night Football

Sunday Night Football on NBC @SNFonNBC

The NFL's biggest season ever has a Sunday Night Football lineup that is CAN'T MISS. 🍿<br><br>The full 2021 Sunday Night Football schedule, with every game on NBC and @peacocktv! pic.twitter.com/sZk0rqYA9g

Games to Watch

Week 1: Cowboys at Buccaneers

Starting off the season with the defending champions is always fun. But we'll also get to see how Dak Prescott looks in his return against one of the more dangerous front sevens in football. 

It should be an intriguing matchup. 

Are the Cowboys finally ready to play up to their talent level, or will they disappoint yet again? Can the Bucs repeat? Will Tom Brady ever start to slow down or show his age? 

We won't get the answers to all those questions in Week 1. But we'll learn more about a Bucs team trying to maintain its place atop the league and about a Cowboys team trying to return to the postseason after yet another disappointing campaign. 

Week 4: Jaguars at Bengals

Trevor Lawrence vs. Joe Burrow. These teams may not be great this season, but a showdown between two of the most promising young quarterbacks in the NFL will be worth the watch. 

Week 4: Buccaneers at Patriots

Tom Brady returns to Gillette Stadium to face Bill Belichick and his old team. Don't really need to say much more than that, right? The intrigue sells itself.

Week 5: Bills at Chiefs

A Sunday night rematch of last season's AFC Championship Game should be a good one, with Josh Allen and the Bills looking to prove they're the team to beat in the AFC against a Chiefs side that has ruled the conference for the past two years. 

Hey, you can't really beat Patrick Mahomes in prime time. Well, the Bills will be hoping they can, but NFL fans will enjoy this one regardless. 

Week 5: Colts at Ravens

New Colts quarterback Carson Wentz will get his first prime-time test against Lamar Jackson and the Ravens in a battle of potential AFC contenders. 

Will we get the Wentz that once looked like an MVP candidate? Or the one who was, well, downright awful for the Philadelphia Eagles last year? 

An MNF showdown with a tough Ravens team should help answer those questions.

Week 17: Browns at Steelers

Does it get any better than a late-season showdown between two heated rivals? 

Who knows what might be on the line when these teams face off on Monday night in Week 17? A playoff berth? The AFC North title? 

Sure, depending on how the season goes, this one could be a late-season dud. But both teams look like serious contenders heading into the 2021 season, and a Week 17 showdown should be pretty darn tasty for fans.