The NFL just shared some big news when it comes to the 2021 regular-season schedule. On Wednesday, the league announced that the schedule will be released on May 12 at 8 p.m. ET on the NFL Network, NFL.com and the NFL app. The NFL Network will air Schedule Release '21 which will break down the regular-season schedule, division-by-division, analyzing the primetime games and top matchups.
"The 2021 NFL season will feature each team playing 17 regular-season games and three preseason games for the first time, providing fans an extra week of regular-season NFL action," the NFL said in a statement. "The 17th game will feature teams from opposing conferences that finished in the same place within their division the previous season, with the AFC as the home conference for the 17th game in 2021.
We’re adding more FOOTBALL! 🏈
The 2021 NFL schedule will be released Wednesday, May 12 (8pm ET) on NFL Network! pic.twitter.com/7qqHCn5rx3— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) April 21, 2021
The addition of the 17th game is the first time since 1978 the NFL has made changes to the format of each team's schedule. “This is a monumental moment in NFL history,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in March. "The CBA with the players and the recently completed media agreements provide the foundation for us to enhance the quality of the NFL experience for our fans. And one of the benefits of each team playing 17 regular-season games is the ability for us to continue to grow our game around the world.”
Each team knows who they will be playing this fall, but the day of the schedule release is big for fans as they get to see how many national games their team will be playing. The first game is set to take place on September 9, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be hosting the game since they won the Super Bowl in February. It's not clear who they will face in the season opener, but one of their home games is against the Buffalo Bills, a team that reached the AFC Championship game last year. The Buccaneers, Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers are a few of the teams while will likely have multiple national TV games because of either their success or their brand name.