The wait is over; the 2021 NFL schedule was officially announced on Wednesday night. Unlike last year, we won’t have to worry about whether or not this season will actually be played or not. That means nothing but months of excitement and anticipation about the upcoming season. Specifically, here are 10 games on the 2021 NFL schedule that every fan needs to watch.
Buccaneers vs Cowboys, Week 1
As usual, the reigning Super Bowl champs play the first game of the next season. This year, we also get to see Dak Prescott’s return from that devastating knee injury.
Panthers vs Jets, Week 1
This would be better if Sam Darnold was returning to New York, but at least he gets to face his former team right off the bat. This will also be Zach Wilson’s NFL debut against the quarterback he’s replacing.
Ravens vs Chiefs, Week 2
This isn’t a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship Game. However, these are still two of the elite teams in the AFC and two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.
Patriots vs Buccaneers, Week 4
Wasn’t it nice that the NFL waited a year to send Tom Brady back to New England? Now he gets to face the Patriots with fans in the stands and fresh off winning a championship with another team.
Chiefs vs Bills, Week 5
This is a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship Game and also a battle between two of the best quarterbacks in the league.
Rams vs Lions, Week 7
How convenient is it that we get an immediate litmus test for the trade involving Jared Goff and Matthew Stafford?
Chiefs vs Packers, Week 9
Assuming Aaron Rodgers is still in Green Bay when the season begins, this will be our chance to see him and Patrick Mahomes share the same field. Of course, if Rodgers is traded to Denver or Las Vegas, we’ll get it twice every year.
Panthers vs Patriots, Week 9
Let’s not forget that this will be Cam Newton’s return to the Panthers, the team he once led to the Super Bowl as the league MVP. The question is whether he’ll be the starter at that point or if Mac Jones will have stolen his job.
Browns vs Ravens, Week 14
These two played the game of the season last year, so we’ll see if they can replicate it. Aside from that, these are two bitter rivals and playoff teams from last year, so this game could have big implications.
Jets vs Jaguars, Week 16
As we reach the end of the season, Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson get to go head-to-head in a battle of the top two picks in this year’s draft.