272 games will be played in the NFL during the 2021 season, or 17 weeks of regular season for the first time in history. All will be important, but some necessarily stand out a little more.
Between star clashes, housewives, future stars and the race for the playoffs, here is an absolutely non-exhaustive list of meetings not to be missed during the upcoming campaign.
Week 1: Carolina Panthers – New York Jets
The revenge of Sam Darnold. Fallen hope of Gotham, the former draft number 3 finds the Jets with the Panthers jersey on his shoulders.
Will he be reborn under the orders of Matt Rhule? His clash with Zach Wilson will in any case be a fascinating match to watch.
Another game « rematch: Cam Newton returns to see the Panthers in week 9.
Week 2: Baltimore Ravens – Kansas City Chiefs
This clash is already a classic. Lamar Jackson vs Patrick Mahomes, the clash between the 2018 and 2019 MVPs is tantalizing. Patrick Mahomes will he regain his dominance behind a new line? Lamar Jackson will he progress as a passer with his new targets?
Many questions that may be answered
Week 4: New England Patriots – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
How not to talk about THE most important game of the season? Or in any case the most symbolic: the return of Tom Brady to Gillette Stadium.
The man who put the franchise « on the map » (with the help of Bill Belichick) is back in his backyard, with one more ring and a red jersey. There is no doubt that it will be an extraordinary event, and that the media enthusiasm will be strong.
Week 5: Kansas City Chiefs – Buffalo Bills
Revenge of the 2020 AFC Conference Final! Will the Bills have a year of experience in the suitcases, enough to topple the Kansas City ogre?
The new Chiefs line will take on the Bills’ beefed up pass rush, the kind of matchup to watch carefully.
Week 7: Arizona Cardinals – Houston Texans
The reunion between Captain America and the Texans. Three-time Defender of the Year JJ Watt is a Cardinal, but this clash is bound to have a special flavor for him.
The ambitions are not the same for the two franchises, and Arizona will be favorites, but this match will be particularly scrutinized as Watt is a media figure.
Week 7: Los Angeles Rams – Detroit Lions
After the huge exchange between Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff, the two franchises meet for a match that promises to be tasty. Jared Goff will probably want to prove to the Rams that they made a mistake, while Matthew Stafford is an “elite” quarterback.
The pressure will be on Los Angeles’ shoulders.
Week 8 (and 17): Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers
The rivalry between Steelers and Browns is (finally) balanced, and the 2019 and 2020 seasons have rekindled the tension between the two franchises. Between helmets and memorable playoff matches, history is being written.
The two clashes of 2021 will be the occasion of two new dantesque clashes, and the AFC North promises to be more competitive than ever.
Week 9: Kansas City Chiefs – Green Bay Packers
If we had to illustrate the happiness of having a 17th game, then this clash between Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes is more than enough. Two of the league’s greatest quarterbacks, and perhaps the two most formidable attacks on paper.
Offensive festival to predict? In any case, it is a match that will certainly be very pleasant to follow.
Week 16: New York Jets – Jacksonville Jaguars
Number 1 in the draft against number 2. This is the most anticipated quarterback duel of the season. Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson will, except surprise, start in 2021 and will therefore face each other directly in what can be a decisive match for the title of rookie of the year.
Given the profile of the two players, it will in any case be an exciting match.
Week 18: Philadelphia Eagles – Dallas Cowboys
The NFC East Division is more uncertain than ever, but the Cowboys appear to be favorites. Philadelphia, on the other hand, is the least anticipated team in the division and will probably already be eliminated. Do you see the scenario made in NFCE coming?
The Eagles are playing the best game of the season, as the Giants voluntarily lose to Washington to give the unnamed team the division title and end an almost 20-year curse.