A 44-year-old Tom Brady begins his quest for an eighth Super Bowl win when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL’s first game of the 2021 regular season on September 9, a Thursday. Veteran quarterback Brady faces a team led by quarterback Dak Prescott, who will turn 16-year-old Brady’s junior when he returns from a cruel ankle injury that left him appearing in just five games last season.
The league on Wednesday released its schedule for the regular season, which incorporates the addition of a 17th game for each of the 32 teams. It’s the first extension of the NFL’s regular season since 1978. The change was approved by team owners in March, though some players expressed their opposition.
To make room for the added game, the league moved the Super Bowl by one week to Feb. 13, reducing the show preseason to three games from four. In Week 18, ESPN and ABC will broadcast two games with playoff implications on Saturday, January 8, 2022. Opponents will be decided after Week 17.
The NFL returns to London for two games after canceling its overseas trips last season due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Atlanta Falcons play the Jets there on Oct. 10, and the Jacksonville Jaguars face the Miami Dolphins on Oct. 17, both at 9.30 Eastern time at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Week 1 shows two multi-billion dollar stadiums opening in 2020 but hosting NFL fans for the first time this season. On September 12, a Sunday, the Los Angeles Rams and their new quarterback, Matthew Stafford, will open the $ 5 billion SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, against the Chicago Bears in an evening game.
The Raiders will host fans on $ 2 billion Allegiant Stadium the next day when they meet the Baltimore Ravens on “Monday Night Football.” The jet-black spot, nicknamed Death Star, opened in 2020 but had no fans present in NFL games due to restrictions last year. The team will compensate for it in the Las Vegas way with a lower level offering a “nightclub experience” with bottle service, DJ booths and large TV screens. Fans have already shown a desire to participate. Early data collected by SeatGeek, a ticket-buying company, shows the Raiders as its best-selling team.
Other interesting games in Week 1 include a matchup between the Green Bay Packers, possibly led by disgruntled quarterback Aaron Rodgersand the New Orleans Saints in the first game of theirDrew Brees era. The Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns also meet in a rematch of a division-round playoff matchup last season.
Perhaps the most anticipated matchup will happen three weeks after the start of the season. On October 3 at 20.20 Brady will do what he did many times over the course of 20 seasons – play a game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. But this time he will be an opponent as the Buccaneers (the Brady team just led to a Super Bowl title over Kansas City) face the Patriots (the Brady team led to six Super Bowl titles).
If Brady wins, he will have defeated every NFL team in his career. Brees, Peyton Manning and Brett Favre are the only other quarterbacks in league history to have achieved that feat. If the Patriots win, it will be a significant victory for the team, which fought to a 7-9 record and missed the playoffs last season. Participation will not be cheap. The average price of a ticket sold Wednesday was over $ 1,300, according to online ticket market Vivid Seats.
With few exceptions, the Detroit Lions and Cowboys have hosted Thanksgiving games annually since 1934 and 1966, respectively, and the tradition continues this season. The Lions play the Chicago Bears, their NFC North Division rivals, on Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. 12.30, while the Cowboys play the Raiders afterwards. That night, the Buffalo Bills, fresh from their first AFC Championship since the 1993 season, face the Saints.
Other notable matchups include a showdown between the first two drafts, Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Jets quarterback Zach Wilson, on Dec. 26 at 6 p.m. an AF Championship match between the Bills and Chiefs on October 10 at 8:20 p.m.; and the Packers vs. the San Francisco 49ers, who are expected to have key defensive players back from injury and possibly start quarterback Trey Lance, overall pick No. 3, on Sept. 26 at 8:20 p.m..
In terms of the 17th game, the teams play an opponent for inter-conference based on last season’s division classification. For example, the Packers, who won the NFC North, will face the Chiefs, who won the AFC West, on November 7 at 7 p.m. 16:25. The extra home game will rotate annually starting this season with AFC teams hosting nine games.