Buccaneers-Cowboys to Open 2021 NFL Season; Full Schedule Coming Tonight Buccaneers-Cowboys to Open 2021 NFL Season; Full Schedule Coming Tonight
Defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay will open its 2021 season at home, hosting the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday, September 9 to kick off... Buccaneers-Cowboys to Open 2021 NFL Season; Full Schedule Coming Tonight

Defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay will open its 2021 season at home, hosting the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday, September 9 to kick off the league’s schedule, announced Wednesday afternoon. The kickoff game, which will air at 8:20 PM, headlines the week one slate that was published during the day Wednesday, ahead of the full 2021 schedule release planned to air at 8 p.m. on NFL Network and NFL.com.

After many stadiums – including for the Super Bowl – saw dramatically reduced capacity (if fans were allowed at all) in 2020, the 2021 season looks promising for at or near capacity fans in attendance, based on continuing reopening efforts from the restrictions put in place to help battle the COVID pandemic. Even New Jersey, which barred fans from every New York Giant and New York Jet home game played at MetLife Stadium, is optimistic on having crowds when the season opens this fall.

“I think the prospects are pretty good,” Governor Phil Murphy told reporters at a recent briefing when asked if he felt MetLife could be at full capacity for the team’s home openers. His optimism is based on the continued improvement seen in the state – which has seen the highest number of deaths attributed to coronavirus when accounting for population size in the country – as vaccination efforts continue. “If we blow through our objectives, there’s a lot higher likelihood the Jets and Giants can sell more tickets.”

The Giants are hosting a home game during Week 1, with the Denver Broncos coming to town for a 4:25 p.m. kickoff on the 12th of September. Other notable games from week 1 include Chicago at the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday Night Football September 12, which will be the first contest at their new home shared with the Los Angeles Chargers, SoFi Stadium. Another marquee stadium debuts on Monday Night Football the following night, when Baltimore visits Allegiant Stadium to take on the host Raiders. Both new buildings have hosted games, but not fans of their host organizations to date.

The full Week 1 NFL slate is outlined below, with the rest of the season to come Wednesday night.

NFL 2021 Week 1 games

Thursday, Sept. 9
Cowboys at Buccaneers

Sunday, Sept. 12
Vikings at Bengals
Steelers at Bills
Seahawks at Colts
Eagles at Falcons
49ers at Lions
Jets at Panthers
Jaguars at Texans
Cardinals at Titans
Chargers at Washington
Browns at Chiefs
Broncos at Giants
Dolphins at Patriots
Packers at Saints
Bears at Rams

Monday, Sept. 13
Ravens at Raiders