The NFL has released the 2021 schedule, and the season will open on Thursday, Sept. 9.
There is no doubt the Thursday night opener will be a ratings grab, as the Dallas Cowboys face the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
There are other Week 1 highlights, too. The AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs face the Cleveland Browns in a rematch of last year’s AFC Divisional round thriller. Green Bay opens at New Orleans in Fox's “America’s Game of the Week,” and the big question is whether Aaron Rodgers will be playing for the Packers in that opener.
Here is a look at the Week 1 schedule
When does the NFL season start in 2021?
- Date: Thursday, Sept. 9
- Matchup: Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Time: 8:20 ET
- TV: NBC
The Buccaneers will open their Super Bowl defense with Tom Brady against the Cowboys, which sets the stage for the return of quarterback Dak Prescott.
NFL schedule Week 1
The Sunday schedule features nine games in the 1 p.m. window and four in the late afternoon slot. The Sunday Night Football game features a matchup between the Bears and Rams. The Monday Night Football matchup is between the Ravens and Raiders. The NFL is giving the Rams and Raiders true stadium openers at SoFi Stadium and Allegiant Stadium knowing that fans were not in attendance last season.
The NFL also moved away from the Monday Night Football doubleheader.
Here is a look at the full Week 1 schedule
Thursday, Sept. 9
|Dallas at Tampa Bay||8:20 p.m.||NBC|
Sunday, Sept. 12
|Jacksonville at Houston||1 p.m.||CBS|
|Pittsburgh at Buffalo||1 p.m.||CBS|
|N.Y. Jets at Carolina||1 p.m.||CBS|
|Arizona at Tennessee||1 p.m.||CBS|
|L.A. Chargers at Washington||1 p.m.||CBS|
|Minnesota at Cincinnati||1 p.m.||FOX|
|San Francisco at Detroit||1 p.m.||FOX|
|Philadelphia at Atlanta||1 p.m.||FOX|
|Seattle at Indianapolis||1 p.m.||FOX|
|Cleveland at Kansas City||4:25 p.m.||CBS|
|Miami at New England||4:25 p.m.||CBS|
|Denver at N.Y. Giants||4:25 p.m.||FOX|
|Green Bay at New Orleans||4:25 p.m.||FOX|
|Chicago at L.A. Rams||8:20 p.m.||NBC|
Monday, Sept. 13
|Baltimore at Las Vegas||8:15 p.m.||ESPN/ABC|