The 5 Best NFL Games, on Paper, for 2021

Nov 15, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) prepares to throw as Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson (94) closes in during the second half at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve known what opponents each team would face next season for a while now, however, on Wednesday, the NFL officially released the 2021 Schedule. We now know what games will happen every week of the NFL season, and which games will be on primetime. As usual, there are many storylines this season, so let’s take a look at the most interesting matchups in this upcoming season. 

#5: Packers at Chiefs, Week 9

For the first time, we could be getting Aaron Rodgers vs Patrick Mahomes. The Packers and Chiefs played in 2019, but Mahomes missed the game with an injury and was replaced by Matt Moore. However, the recent Aaron Rodgers drama means we might not have Rodgers playing in this matchup, which is why it is only number five on this list. If Rodgers plays for the Packers in 2021, this game would be can’t miss TV, with two of the greatest throwers of the football dueling it out. 

#4: Bills at Buccaneers, Week 14

The AFC runner-ups last season taking on the defending Super Bowl Champions. Josh Allen vs Tom Brady. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Antonio Brown against Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, and Emmanuel Sanders. The Bucs defensive line, and the Bills secondary. This is a star matchup all around and should be an entertaining game for everyone. If both teams are what we expect them to be, this would be two of the best teams in the NFL facing off, and a possible Super Bowl preview. 

#3: Jaguars at Bengals, Week 4

These teams are likely not going to be good next season. So why did it make the list? We have the two most recent number one overall picks going at each other, in Joe Burrow and Trevor Lawrence. The last time these two players faced off was the 2019 College Football Championship Game, where Burrow and the LSU Tigers finished their magical season with a 42-25 rout of Clemson. We saw Burrow account for six touchdowns, while Lawrence looked flustered against the LSU defense. Lawrence will be looking to make up for that game, and we should be getting a preview of two future stars in this league. 

#2: Rams at Seahawks, Week 5, Thursday Night Football

NFC West divisional matchups always deliver thrillers. And when the Seahawks are playing, we know that the game will only be decided late in the fourth quarter. The Rams got the best of the Seahawks last season in the playoffs, but the Seahawks won the division. The Rams were led by their defense last season, but with the trade for quarterback Matthew Stafford, expect head coach Sean McVay to have the Rams offense cooking. However, don’t count out Russell Wilson either, who has a bitter taste in how the playoff game vs the Rams ended and will be looking to cook up some of the magic that had him leading the MVP race early last season. This Thursday Night Football game should be a thriller, so mark your calendars.  

#1: Buccaneers at Patriots, Week 4, Sunday Night Football

Tom Brady vs Bill Belichick. For 19 seasons Brady and Belichik terrorized the NFL, winning six Super Bowls together for the Patriots. However, last season we saw Brady leave for the Buccaneers and win his seventh ring, while the Patriots went 7-9. Fans are already circling this game on the schedule, as evidenced by the seat prices for this game:

It’s not just the fans either, as Tom Brady himself has quipped about this game on social media:

Finally, there is one final arch that makes this game of importance. Tom Brady is second all-time in passing yards, 1154 yards behind recently retired Drew Brees. If he follows his passing pace from last season with the Buccanneers…

Tom Brady becoming the NFL’s leading passer against the Patriots would be the cherry on top for this game. He will also be looking to be the fourth quarterback in NFL history to beat all 32 teams. This feat has been accomplished so far by Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, and Drew Brees. This is without a doubt the game most people should be looking forward to this season, with all of the storylines surrounding the two architects of the greatest dynasty in football history.