2021 NFL Schedule: Release Date, TV Schedule, Known Opponents and More

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 2021

El  tight end Rob Gronkowsk (izquierda) y el quarterback Tom Brady de los Buccaneers de Tampa Bay celebran tras vencer 31-9 a los Chiefs de Kansas City en el Super Bowl 55, el domingo 7 de febrero de 2021, en Tampa, Florida. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

The NFL will release the first 17-game schedule in its history Wednesday night, with the reigning Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers set to host the 2021 regular-season opener in September.

Team owners approved the one-game increase in March, an option that became available as part of the collective bargaining agreement reached with the NFL Players Association in 2020. AFC teams will host an extra home game this year, a distinction that will rotate between the conferences each year.

"This is a monumental moment in NFL history," commissioner Roger Goodell said. "The CBA with the players and the recently completed media agreements provide the foundation for us to enhance the quality of the NFL experience for our fans. And one of the benefits of each team playing 17 regular-season games is the ability for us to continue to grow our game around the world."

Let's check out all of the important information for the schedule release along with a look at the opponents each team is set to face this fall. That's followed by a glance at some of the top games on the slate.


NFL Schedule Release Viewing Details

When: Wednesday, May 12 at 8 p.m. ET

Watch: NFL Network

Live Stream: NFL.com


2021 Team-By-Team Opponents

Arizona Cardinals

Home: Rams, 49ers, Seahawks, Panthers, Packers, Texans, Colts, Vikings

Road: Rams, 49ers, Seahawks, Bears, Browns, Cowboys, Lions, Jaguars, Titans


Atlanta Falcons

Home: Panthers, Saints, Buccaneers, Lions, Patriots, Jets, Eagles, Washington

Road: Panthers, Saints, Buccaneers, Bills, Cowboys, Jaguars, Dolphins, Giants, 49ers


Baltimore Ravens

Home: Bengals, Browns, Steelers, Packers, Colts, Chiefs, Chargers, Rams, Vikings

Road: Bengals, Browns, Steelers, Bears, Broncos, Lions, Raiders, Dolphins


Buffalo Bills

Home: Dolphins, Patriots, Jets, Falcons, Panthers, Texans, Colts, Steelers, Washington

Road: Dolphins, Patriots, Jets, Jaguars, Chiefs, Saints, Buccaneers, Titans


Carolina Panthers

Home: Falcons, Saints, Buccaneers, Vikings, Patriots, Jets, Eagles, Washington

Road: Falcons, Saints, Buccaneers, Cardinals, Bills, Cowboys, Texans, Dolphins, Giants


Chicago Bears

Home: Lions, Packers, Vikings, Cardinals, Ravens, Bengals, Giants, 49ers

Road: Lions, Packers, Vikings, Browns, Raiders, Rams, Steelers, Seahawks, Buccaneers


Cincinnati Bengals

Home: Ravens, Browns, Steelers, Packers, Jaguars, Chiefs, Chargers, Vikings, 49ers

Road: Ravens, Browns, Steelers, Bears, Broncos, Lions, Raiders, Jets


Cleveland Browns

Home: Ravens, Bengals, Steelers, Cardinals, Bears, Broncos, Lions, Texans, Raiders

Road: Ravens, Bengals, Steelers, Packers, Chiefs, Chargers, Vikings, Patriots


Dallas Cowboys

Home: Giants, Eagles, Washington, Cardinals, Falcons, Panthers, Broncos, Raiders

Road: Giants, Eagles, Washington, Chiefs, Chargers, Vikings, Patriots, Saints, Buccaneers


Denver Broncos

Home: Chiefs, Raiders, Chargers, Ravens, Bengals, Lions, Jets, Eagles, Washington

Road: Chiefs, Raiders, Chargers, Browns, Cowboys, Jaguars, Giants, Steelers


Detroit Lions

Home: Bears, Packers, Vikings, Cardinals, Ravens, Bengals, Eagles, 49ers

Road: Bears, Packers, Vikings, Falcons, Browns, Broncos, Rams, Steelers, Seahawks


Green Bay Packers

Home: Bears, Lions, Vikings, Browns, Rams, Steelers, Seahawks, Washington

Road: Bears, Lions, Vikings, Cardinals, Ravens, Bengals, Chiefs, Saints, 49ers


Houston Texans

Home: Colts, Jaguars, Titans, Panthers, Chargers, Rams, Patriots, Jets, Seahawks

Road: Colts, Jaguars, Titans, Cardinals, Bills, Browns, Dolphins, 49ers


Indianapolis Colts

Home: Texans, Jaguars, Titans, Raiders, Rams, Patriots, Jets, Seahawks, Buccaneers

Road: Texans, Jaguars, Titans, Cardinals, Ravens, Bills, Dolphins, 49ers


Jacksonville Jaguars

Home: Texans, Colts, Titans, Falcons, Cardinals, Bills, Broncos, Dolphins, 49ers

Road: Texans, Colts, Titans, Bengals, Rams, Patriots, Jets, Seahawks


Kansas City Chiefs

Home: Broncos, Raiders, Chargers, Bills, Browns, Cowboys, Packers, Giants, Steelers

Road: Broncos, Raiders, Chargers, Ravens, Bengals, Eagles, Titans, Washington


Las Vegas Raiders

Home: Broncos, Chiefs, Chargers, Ravens, Bears, Bengals, Dolphins, Eagles, Washington

Road: Broncos, Chiefs, Chargers, Browns, Cowboys, Colts, Giants, Steelers


Los Angeles Chargers

Home: Broncos, Chiefs, Raiders, Browns, Cowboys, Vikings, Patriots, Giants, Steelers

Road: Broncos, Chiefs, Raiders, Ravens, Bengals, Texans, Eagles, Washington


Los Angeles Rams

Home: Cardinals, 49ers, Seahawks, Bears, Lions, Jaguars, Buccaneers, Titans

Road: Cardinals, 49ers, Seahawks, Ravens, Packers, Texans, Colts, Vikings, Giants


Miami Dolphins

Home: Bills, Patriots, Jets, Falcons, Ravens, Panthers, Texans, Colts, Giants

Road: Bills, Patriots, Jets, Jaguars, Raiders, Saints, Buccaneers, Titans


Minnesota Vikings

Home: Bears, Lions, Packers, Browns, Cowboys, Rams, Steelers, Seahawks

Road: Bears, Lions, Packers, Cardinals, Ravens, Panthers, Bengals, Chargers, 49ers


New England Patriots

Home: Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Browns, Cowboys, Jaguars, Saints, Buccaneers, Titans

Road: Bills, Dolphins, Jets, Falcons, Panthers, Texans, Colts, Chargers


New Orleans Saints

Home: Falcons, Panthers, Buccaneers, Bills, Cowboys, Packers, Dolphins, Giants

Road: Falcons, Panthers, Buccaneers, Patriots, Jets, Eagles, Seahawks, Titans, Washington


New York Giants

Home: Cowboys, Eagles, Washington, Falcons, Panthers, Broncos, Raiders, Rams

Road: Cowboys, Eagles, Washington, Bears, Chiefs, Chargers, Dolphins, Saints, Buccaneers


New York Jets

Home: Bills, Dolphins, Patriots, Bengals, Jaguars, Saints, Eagles, Buccaneers, Titans

Road: Bills, Dolphins, Patriots, Falcons, Panthers, Broncos, Texans, Colts


Philadelphia Eagles

Home: Cowboys, Giants, Washington, Chiefs, Chargers, Saints, 49ers, Buccaneers

Road: Cowboys, Giants, Washington, Falcons, Panthers, Broncos, Lions, Raiders, Jets


Pittsburgh Steelers

Home: Ravens, Bengals, Browns, Bears, Broncos, Lions, Raiders, Seahawks, Titans

Road: Ravens, Bengals, Browns, Bills, Packers, Chiefs, Chargers, Vikings


San Francisco 49ers

Home: Cardinals, Rams, Seahawks, Falcons, Packers, Texans, Colts, Vikings

Road: Cardinals, Rams, Seahawks, Bears, Bengals, Lions, Jaguars, Eagles, Titans


Seattle Seahawks

Home: Cardinals, Rams, 49ers, Bears, Lions, Jaguars, Saints, Titans

Road: Cardinals, Rams, 49ers, Packers, Texans, Colts, Vikings, Steelers, Washington


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Home: Falcons, Panthers, Saints, Bills, Bears, Cowboys, Dolphins, Giants

Road: Falcons, Panthers, Saints, Colts, Rams, Patriots, Jets, Eagles, Washington


Tennessee Titans

Home: Texans, Colts, Jaguars, Cardinals, Bills, Chiefs, Dolphins, Saints, 49ers

Road: Texans, Colts, Jaguars, Rams, Patriots, Jets, Steelers, Seahawks


Washington Football Team

Home: Cowboys, Giants, Eagles, Chiefs, Chargers, Saints, Seahawks, Buccaneers

Road: Cowboys, Giants, Eagles, Falcons, Bills, Panthers, Broncos, Packers, Raiders


Top Games To Watch In 2021

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Buffalo Bills

The Bucs have a handful of different possible opponents in the season opener. A clash with the Dallas Cowboys, "America's Team," would generate plenty of attention, while going up against an NFC rival like the Chicago Bears or New Orleans Saints would be interesting given their quarterback changes.

In terms of the best possible game, however, the Bills are the slam dunk choice.

Buffalo is coming off a 13-3 season, its best record since 1991, and it advanced to the AFC Championship Game for the first time since 1993. Quarterback Josh Allen was one of last year's breakout stars en route to finishing second to the Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers in MVP voting.

Both the Buccaneers and Bills were able to retain a vast majority of the talent that guided them deep into last year's playoffs, making them chief title contenders once again heading into 2021. And the star power of Tom Brady and Allen makes the game an easy sell to kick off the next campaign.


Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New York Jets

The Jaguars selected Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft, and the Jets followed minutes later by taking BYU signal-caller Zach Wilson at No. 2. Their first head-to-head meeting could be the start of a long-term rivalry.

The prized prospects reached the top of the draft class in different ways.

Lawrence has been on the NFL radar since high school when he was a 5-star recruit, and his three college seasons with the Tigers only further enhanced his status as a once-in-a-decade talent. He's the most surefire prospect since Andrew Luck came out of Stanford in 2012.

Wilson's stock faded in 2019 when he threw 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions after undergoing shoulder surgery earlier that year. He bounced back in a major way last season, tallying 33 TDs and just three picks in 12 games while displaying high-end arm talent.

Neither the Jags nor the Jets appear to be on a Super Bowl level quite yet, but the front offices will hope the quarterbacks' matchup this year is a preview of a future showdown deep in the AFC playoffs.


Kansas City Chiefs vs. Baltimore Ravens

The Chiefs and Ravens have combined to post a 73-23 record over the past three seasons to emerge as powerhouses in the AFC, though they've yet to meet in the postseason.

Kansas City has won all three of the regular-season encounters over that span, though they've been highly competitive. It won in overtime in 2018 and by five in 2019. Last year's game ended 34-20, but Baltimore was within a touchdown inside the final 10 minutes.

It's another matchup that centers around a premier quarterback battle, in this case the Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes and Ravens' Lamar Jackson, which isn't a surprise given the unmatched importance of the position in the modern game.

K.C. and Baltimore figure to rank among the top clubs in the AFC once again in 2021, and their regular-season meeting could end up playing a crucial role in the race for the top seed and the reward of having the conference's only bye during the first round of the playoffs.


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