The 2021 National Football League regular season is set to begin in a couple of days.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are set to host the Dallas Cowboys in the first game of the 2021 regular season. It’s the defending Super Bowl champions against America’s Team. The Cowboys have already been dealt some tough news ahead of kickoff, as they’ll be without star offensive lineman Zack Martin.
In anticipation of the NFL’s 2021 season, ESPN has named the “easiest” schedule in the league.
Coincidentally, that honor goes to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The defending champions have the easiest schedule. That might not seem fair, but remember that the schedule is a predetermined formula. Tom Brady & Co. will benefit from six divisional games against the Drew Brees-less Saints, plus the underwhelming Falcons and Panthers rosters. The Bucs will also face the AFC and NFC East divisions, which means games against the Giants, Eagles and Jets. As for unique games, remember that the Buccaneers did not win the NFC South last season. That means they will face three second-place teams, as opposed to three defending division champs — the Rams, Bears and Colts instead of the Seahawks, Packers and Titans.
It’s extremely difficult to repeat in the NFL, but the Buccaneers should be able to at least make it back to the postseason.
Tampa Bay and Dallas will kick off the 2021 season on Thursday, Sept. 9.
Kickoff is set for 8:20 p.m. E.T. on NBC.