On Wednesday, the NFL released the much-anticipated 2021 schedule, which for the first time ever with have a 17th game for every team.
Intriguing matchups are everywhere, from the Browns and Chiefs kicking off their seasons in a rematch of their playoff thriller last year, to the annual Thanksgiving Day tripleheader to Tom Brady’s return to New England in a Bucs vs Pats game. Here are the five games looking to be the best of the bunch this season:
5. Tampa Bay Bucs at New England Patriots (Week 4)
This is one of the coolest matchups on the schedule since it’s Brady playing against his former team and getting booed the whole time. The one thing holding it back from being higher though is that the Pats aren’t very good and the Bucs are among the best. Big hype going in, but the scoreboard might not deliver.
4. Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs (Week 1)
The Browns’ final game of the 2020-2021 season was in Kansas City, as they lost by only five tiny points to the then-defending champions on the road. This rematch should be just as intriguing, as the Browns are a dangerous top-5 NFL team—something they’ve almost never been before.
3. Buffalo Bills at Tampa Bay Bucs (Week 14)
Josh Allen and the Bills were unstoppable down the stretch last year, but Tom Brady’s always had this team’s number. We should get some offense in this one, especially with warm Tampa December temperatures.
2. Green Bay Packers at Kansas City Chiefs (Week 9)
These two teams were arguably the best teams in the NFL regular season last year, and this could have been a Super Bowl matchup. And former Kentucky Wildcats star Za’Darius Smith plays for the Pack. Need I say more?
1. Cleveland Browns at Green Bay Packers (Christmas)
Now this is a game! The Packers have the coldest stadium in America, and the Browns aren’t far behind. Put two of the best offenses in the NFL together on Christmas Day in Green Bay? Oh yeah! This game should have it all—frosty breath, rushing touchdowns with numb skin, final-minute drama, wild field goals...I just hope it snows! One fanbase is going to get a very nice Christmas present at the end of this one...