Colin McGee ‘22
The NFL off-season is currently in full swing. Free agency and the draft have been left in the rear view mirror. On May 12th, the NFL officially unveiled the 2021 NFL schedule. The 2021-22 season will be the largest in NFL history as a 17th regular season game was recently approved. There are numerous great games on the schedule.
Week 1: Cowboys at Buccaneers
The 2021 NFL Kickoff Game features Tom Brady and the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosting the Dallas Cowboys. This is a big game for Dallas as their franchise quarterback Dak Prescott makes his return after a season ending injury last year. If the Cowboys want any success this year they need Prescott to return back to the way he was playing prior to the injury.
Week 1: Jaguars at Texans
#1 overall draft pick Trevor Lawrence makes his NFL debut as one of the most talked about rookies in a while. Urban Meyer, the longtime college head coach, will also be coaching his first NFL game. On the other side, the Houston Texans are coming off a year of turmoil. There are many uncertainties surrounding this team such as who will even be their starting quarterback for this game. A win for the Texans here would be a huge statement for a team that has a lot of controversy surrounding them as of late.
Week 2: Chiefs at Ravens
Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson are two of the most dynamic players to watch in the league, recipients of the 2018 and 2019 MVP respectively. The Chiefs are trying to rebound off their tough loss in the Super Bowl. Jackson will be trying to improve his 0-3 record against Mahomes’ Chiefs.
Week 4: Buccaneers at Patriots
The most anticipated game of the year will feature Tom Brady returning to the place he called home for 20 seasons. During those 20 years Brady, along with Patriots head coach Bill Belicheck, formed the greatest dynasty the NFL has ever seen winning 6 Super Bowls together. Coming off just winning his 7th last year with Tampa Bay, Brady will face off against his former team who made many moves in the offseason to retool their roster.
Week 7: Saints at Seahawks
The Saints in their first season without Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees under center will be trying to find a new identity for themselves. They have their hands full in a Monday night battle in Seattle against Russell Wilson who also plays very well in the first half of regular seasons.
Week 9: Packers at Chiefs
As long as the Aaron Rodgers trade rumors do not come to fruition, NFL fans will be gifted a matchup against arguably the two best quarterbacks in football in Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes. This would be the first matchup between the two quarterbacks as well.
Week 10: Rams at 49ers
Matthew Stafford in his first year with the Rams will face the 49ers for his first time as a Ram. There is also a real possibility that rookie Trey Lance may be under center for San Francisco at this point. Two of the best young coaches in football, Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan, will face off once again.
Week 12: Eagles at Giants
The Giants-Eagles rivalry has heated up over the past year. Many Giants fans and players are angry at the Eagles over their Week 17 loss which cost the Giants the playoffs and raised speculations of tanking. On top of that, the Eagles traded up in the draft ahead of the Giants to select the player that they reportedly desired. The Giants for sure have this game circled on their calendar.
Week 14: Ravens at Browns
Last year’s game between the Ravens and Browns in Cleveland was a high-scoring instant classic. The Browns coming off their best season in this millennium are looking to prove they are not frauds. Strong additions on the defense show they want to be here to stay.
Week 15: Chiefs at Chargers
Justin Herbert, last year’s Rookie of the Year, has many buzzing about his future potential. In order for him to be successful with the Chargers however he has to be able to prove he can beat the division rival Chiefs.