The 2021 NFL regular season will run until Jan. 9, and Super Bowl LVI will be played Feb. 13 at SoFi Stadium, the latest in a calendar year that the NFL has ever finished its season. The Week 1 games have been released with the rest of the new 17-game slate (18 weeks) out tonight. Here are the 16 openers with NFL odds, obviously subject to change.
Cowboys at Buccaneers (-6.5): The annual Kickoff Game on Thursday night, Sept. 9. There was speculation early this week that it would be Buffalo visiting Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champs, but SportsLine oddsmakers always favored it to be the Cowboys. It's the return from a serious injury for Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott.
Vikings at Bengals (+2.5): Cincinnati QB Joe Burrow returns from his 2020 season-ending torn ACL and is reunited with his former LSU star teammate, receiver Ja'Marr Chase.
49ers at Lions (+7): Jared Goff makes his Lions debut under center (and Dan Campbell his head coaching debut for Detroit), while it presumably will be Jimmy Garoppolo and not rookie No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance at quarterback for San Francisco.
Eagles at Falcons (-3.5): Nick Sirianni will make his Philadelphia head coaching debut against another first-year head coach in Atlanta's Arthur Smith. The two former offensive coordinators were former AFC South rivals when Sirianni was in Indianapolis and Smith in Tennessee.
Seahawks at Colts (-2.5) The Carson Wentz Era starts in Indianapolis with a good matchup against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks. Could it be the final season opener in a Seattle uniform for Wilson?
Steelers at Bills (-6.5): Ben Roethlisberger opens what is expected to be his final season for Pittsburgh, which lost 26-15 at Buffalo in Week 14 last year. Josh Allen threw two TD passes for the Bills.
Jets at Panthers (-5): Of course, the Jets traded QB Sam Darnold to Carolina this offseason and took BYU quarterback Zach Wilson at No. 2 overall. Very intriguing opener (even though neither team may be very good) with those two facing off.
Cardinals at Titans (-2.5): JJ Watt and AJ Green make their Arizona debuts. This will be the first time the Cardinals have opened on the road against an AFC team since 1997 when they did so in Cincinnati.
Chargers at Washington (-1.5): It's the 2020 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in Bolts QB Justin Herbert against the Defensive Rookie of the Year in Washington end Chase Young.
Jaguars at Texans (+1.5): Trevor Lawrence's NFL debut – at least in a game that counts – comes against what is projected to be the worst team in the league. Will Tim Tebow be on the field for the Jags? It's so rare to see them as road favorites. Presumably, it will be Tyrod Taylor at QB for Houston and certainly not Deshaun Watson.
Broncos at Giants (+1.5): This matchup looks rather blah on the surface as both finished with losing records in 2020, but what if it's Aaron Rodgers' Denver debut?
Packers at Saints (TBA): New Orleans begins the post-Drew Brees Era most likely with Jameis Winston under center, but obviously all eyes will be on whether Aaron Rodgers is the Green Bay QB – he is the reason no opening odds on this game in case he's holding out/retired. The Pack won in New Orleans 37-30 last year.
Browns at Chiefs (-5.5): Playoff rematch as Cleveland pushed the Chiefs to the limit in last year's Divisional Round game, but KC escaped with a 22-17 win despite an injured Patrick Mahomes. The Browns amazingly haven't won a season opener since 2004.
Dolphins at Patriots (-2.5): These AFC East rivals split last year, each winning by double digits at home. Could rookie QB Mac Jones actually be the Week 1 starter for New England? SportsLine oddsmakers still heavily favor it to be Cam Newton.
Bears at Rams (-6.5): Sunday night game and Matthew Stafford Rams' debut. Also should be Andy Dalton's debut for Chicago. Fourth straight year the teams will play and the first three were each low scoring.
Ravens at Raiders (+5.5): Monday night game and the Raiders finally will be able to welcome fans in their new Las Vegas home. There is no MNF doubleheader in Week 1 this year. These teams didn't play in 2020.
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