Now that the NFL draft is behind us we can officially start the countdown for the most exciting season yet. The 2021 NFL schedule will be released on Wednesday, May 12 at 8:00 p.m. ET. The season is expected to kick off on Thursday, September 9, and the last regular-season games will be played on Sunday, January 9. The season will conclude with Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 13, 2022.
In March, the NFL announced that the 2021 season will be the debut of an enhanced playing structure featuring a 17-game schedule. The matchups will be AFC East vs. NFC East, AFC North vs. NFC West, AFC South vs. NFC South, and AFC West vs. NFC North. Every team will play 17 games with one bye week, hosting 10 games–either nine regular-season games and one preseason game or eight regular-season games and two preseason games.
Additionally, the change in schedule includes a change to the process of setting international games. Each team will be required to play internationally at least once every eight years.
Be sure to follow ProFootballTalk to find out the official 2021 NFL schedule with playing dates and times, as well as post-season news and updates.