NFL 17-game schedule: 5 best games added in 2021
The NFL made it official on Tuesday afternoon, adding a 17th game for each club to the 2021 regular season. Here’s the five best games.
5. Arizona Cardinals at Cleveland Browns
Two young, improving NFL teams. The Browns went 11-5 last year and won their first playoff game since 1994, beating the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. The following week, they took the Kansas City Chiefs to the wire before being undone by Chad Henne. Meanwhile, the Cardinals went 8-8 but showed promise under coach Kliff Kingsbury. If Kyler Murray takes the next step in his development, the Cards should be a playoff team.
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4. Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers
This is a first-place matchup, and while Pittsburgh took some significant losses this offseason, it should still be in contention for a playoff spot. The Seahawks come to the Steel City for the first time since Week 2 of the 2019 campaign, the same game which Ben Roethlisberger was lost for the year with an elbow injury. If the Steelers can win this time around, it could go a long way towards defending their AFC North crown.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Indianapolis Colts
Tough to leave the defending champs off the list. The Buccaneers will visit the Hoosier State to take on the Colts, who have a new quarterback in Carson Wentz. If Wentz can find his old magic, Indy is the clear favorite in the AFC South while Tampa Bay should win the NFC South with little problem, especially with Drew Brees retired. For the Colts, this is a measuring-stick game.
2. Los Angeles Rams at Baltimore Ravens
Love this matchup. We get to watch the Ravens try to execute their run-heavy offense against Aaron Donald on the interior. Nobody is tougher to deal with, and getting Donald against Lamar Jackson should be fascinating. That said, we’ve seen this matchup before, and the Rams were hammered on Monday night in 2019. Now, though, it’s Matthew Stafford and a revamped defense in Los Angeles. Should be a good one.
1. Green Bay Packers at Kansas City Chiefs
This is easily the best game and possibly a Super Bowl preview. The Chiefs and Packers met in 2019, but Patrick Mahomes was hurt. Therefore, this will be the first matchup between Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers. Both teams are considered favorites to reach the Super Bowl, and considering the rosters and quarterbacks, this should be a primetime affair.