Breakdown of the 2021 NFL Schedule, How to Watch

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The NFL’s first-ever 18-week, 272-game regular-season schedule for 2021 has been released.

It kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 9, in Tampa Bay where the Buccaneers will face the Dallas Cowboys. The season will wrap up in Week 18 on Jan. 9.

To see the full 2021 NFL schedule, click this link.

The 2021 NFL schedule will feature each team playing 17 regular-season games and three preseason games for the first time, “providing fans an extra week of regular-season action,” the NFL said.

The league’s 32 teams will each play 17 games over 18 weeks, with byes beginning in Week 6 and ending in Week 14.

The NFL’s 102nd season begins with the annual primetime kickoff game, as the defending Super Bowl Champion Buccaneers host the Cowboys at Raymond James Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 9. The game will air on NBC at 8:20 p.m. ET.

Week 1 continues on Sunday, Sept. 12, with a double-doubleheader featuring four afternoon games. On CBS, the defending AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs host the Cleveland Browns — 4:25 PM ET — in a rematch of their memorable 2020 Divisional Playoff game.

On FOX, the Green Bay Packers travel to face the New Orleans Saints — 4:25 p.m. ET — in a meeting of the NFC’s top two seeds from last year’s postseason.

Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect on Monday Night Football, Thursday Night Football and Sunday Night Football throughout the rest of the 2021 NFL season:

2021 Monday Night Football Matchups

Kickoff times for primetime games will remain unchanged this season. Monday and Saturday night games will
kick-off at 8:15 p.m. ET.

Image courtesy of @SportsCenter.

Kickoff Weekend wraps up on Monday, Sept. 13, featuring the Las Vegas Raiders hosting the Baltimore Ravens at 8:15 p.m. ET at Allegiant Stadium.

“ESPN will televise one game each Monday night in Weeks 1-17,” NFL said. “There will be no Monday night game on the final regular-season weekend (Week 18) to provide more flexibility for the scheduling of the opening weekend
of the NFL playoffs.”

To see the full 2021 NFL schedule, click this link.

2021 Thursday Night Football Matchups

Thursday night games will kick at 8:20 p.m. ET. Although the season opens on a Thursday, Thursday Night Football officially starts in Week 2 with the Giants and the Washington Football Team on Sept. 16.

Image courtesy of @NFL.

Thursday Night Football will air exclusively on NFL Network in Weeks 2-4 and in Week 16, while FOX kicks off its Thursday night slate in Week 5.

FOX will broadcast 10 Thursday Night Football games between Weeks 5-15 — excluding Thanksgiving night — as well as the Saturday, Dec. 25 game between the Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers at 4:30 p.m. ET.

The FOX games are slated to be simulcast via NFL Network and will also be streamed on Amazon Prime Video starting in Week 5 with the Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks game on Oct. 7.

To see the full 2021 NFL schedule, click this link.

2021 Sunday Night Football Matchups

Sunday night games will kick at 8:20 p.m. ET.

NBC’s Sunday Night Football begins with the Los Angeles Rams hosting the Chicago Bears at SoFi Stadium in Week 1.

Image courtesy of @SNFonNBC.

The league said a select number of games will be “cross-flexed,” moving between CBS and FOX to bring potentially under-distributed games to wider audiences — these are to be decided during the season.

The Atlanta Falcons will play host to the New York Jets in Week 5, airing exclusively on NFL Network at 9:30 a.m. ET, while the Jacksonville Jaguars will play host to the Miami Dolphins in Week 6 at 9:30 a.m. ET on CBS.

To see the full 2021 NFL schedule, click this link or click the image below:

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Written by Megan Turner

Megan graduated from the University of Central Florida and writes and tweets about anything related to sports. She replies to comments she shouldn't reply to online and thinks the CFP Rankings are absolutely rigged. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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