The full 2021 NFL season schedule release is happening at 8:00 p.m. ET on NFL Network, but excited fans who didn't want to have to wait the whole day were treated to an early surprise on Wednesday morning. That surprise? The full Week 1 schedule was revealed, and there are some juicy matchups awaiting us.
Here's the full breakdown:
— Thursday Night Football: Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NBC)
— Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET: Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills (CBS)
— Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET: New York Jets at Carolina Panthers (CBS)
— Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET: Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (CBS)
— Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET: Arizona Cardinals at Tennessee Titans (CBS)
— Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET: Los Angeles Chargers at Washington Football Team (CBS)
— Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET: Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons (Fox)
— Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET: Seattle Seahawks at Indianapolis Colts (Fox)
— Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET: Minnesota Vikings at Cincinnati Bengals (Fox)
— Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET: San Francisco 49ers at Detroit Lions (Fox)
— Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET: Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs (CBS)
— Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET: Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots (CBS)
— Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET: Denver Broncos at New York Giants (Fox)
— Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET: Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints (Fox)
— Sunday Night Football: Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams (NBC)
— Monday Night Football: Baltimore Ravens at Las Vegas Raiders (ESPN)
Here are some observations of notable games on this list, though every game holds at least a couple of intriguing elements:
— New Panthers QB Sam Darnold will face off against his former team, the Jets, while Zach Wilson will take the helm and look to prove that he was the right choice for the franchise's future.
— The Browns and Chiefs will have a rematch of last year's division round when they square off at Arrowhead.
— The Packers and Saints, two teams who have long been led by Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees, respectively, may very well both have different quarterbacks facing off this time around. We know that is the case for sure with the Saints, though the Packers' quarterback situation is very much up in the air.
— The Bears will see a familiar face leading a new team, as former division rival Matthew Stafford will make his Rams debut against a team he has played against 20 times in his career.
Again, the rest of the schedule will be unveiled at 8:00 p.m. ET, though there may be leaks throughout the day for certain games. One week, however, is a great way to get the mouth watering and the football discussions flowing.