2021 NFL schedule: Predictions, analysis and toughest, easiest games for all 32 teams

Can quarterback Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers repeat as champs?

Brady will kick off the NFL season Thursday, Sept. 9, with the Dallas Cowboys at the Buccaneers. ESPN’s Monday Night Football opener is Sept. 13 and will feature the Las Vegas Raiders hosting the Baltimore Ravens (8:15 p.m. ET).

Based on strength of schedule — which is determined by opponents’ records in 2020 — the Philadelphia Eagles, Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons have the easiest schedules of the 2021 season, while the Pittsburgh Steelers, Ravens and Chicago Bears have the toughest.

The NFL will change its schedule for the first time in 44 years, expanding to 17 regular-season games. The final regular-season games will be played Jan. 9, 2022. The playoffs will begin Jan. 15, 2022, and continue through Super Bowl LVI on Feb. 13, 2022, at Los Angeles’ SoFi Stadium.

Here’s a bold prediction for every team following the schedule release. Click on the links to see the full schedule and more analysis.
New york jets New coach, new quarterback, new offensive scheme, new defensive scheme, pretty much new everything — and that’s a good thing because the old way stunk. But there will be growing pains, plenty of growing pains, so the Jets are headed to a 6-11 season.
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