The NFL Week 1 schedule has been unveiled this morning — ahead of the full-season schedule reveal later today — and the opener looks to be a doozy. The Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be home to America’s Team, the Dallas Cowboys, on Thursday Night Football.
NBC will be airing the Thursday night matchup on September 9 and it could be a ratings bonanza, pitting the GOAT Tom Brady against the Cowboys, who will be welcoming back star QB Dak Prescott following a season-ending injury last year. Amazon takes over the Thursday night slot exclusively in 2022.
Also among highlights in Week 1: ESPN’s Monday Night Football matchup of the Baltimore Ravens on the road in Las Vegas to face the Raiders. The first Sunday afternoon of the season will see the Pittsburgh Steelers visit the Buffalo Bills on CBS and the New Orleans Saints hosting Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in the late-day slot on Fox.
In March, the NFL clinched a set of long-term renewals with a group of media partners at a reported $110 billion valuation. The 11-year deals with NBCUniversal, Disney, ViacomCBS, Fox and Amazon run through 2032. While Amazon is getting a head start in 2022, the other deals take effect in 2023.
The first Sunday Nighter on NBC will see the Chicago Bears heading to Los Angeles to face the Rams. SoFi Stadium in L.A., which opened empty last year due to Covid-19 protocols, is expected to have fans in attendance for the first time. Ditto for the Raiders’ new home, Allegiant Stadium.
“All of us in the NFL want to see every one of our fans back,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said at a news conference at the end of March. “Football is simply not the same without fans, and we expect to have full stadiums in the upcoming season.”
The full 2020 season was completed without any games being canceled, but many teams were required by state and local authorities to play in front of limited or no crowds. Attendance totaled 1.2 million, down from 17 million in 2019.
You can check out the full Week 1 schedule and listings below:
Are you ready for Week 1?!
Week 1 tickets are now available! https://t.co/mjp9JMwBpM
— NFL (@NFL) May 12, 2021
Dade Hayes contributed to this report.
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