The NFL will open its 2021 Monday Night Football schedule Sept. 13 in Las Vegas, where the Raiders will host the Baltimore Ravens, the league announced Wednesday morning. The game will be televised on ABC and ESPN.
The Ravens have been a playoff team in each season since they drafted quarterback Lamar Jackson in 2018. The Raiders, meanwhile, are hoping to make the playoffs for the first time in coach Jon Gruden’s four-year tenure. The matchup is expected to mark the first regular-season game with fans in attendance at Allegiant Stadium, which opened in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic.
Other notable games announced for Week 1 include the Tampa Bay Buccaneers opening their Super Bowl title defense against the Dallas Cowboys; quarterback Sam Darnold and the Carolina Panthers hosting his former team, the New York Jets; the Green Bay Packers, who are mired in uncertainty surrounding quarterback Aaron Rodgers, playing at the New Orleans Saints, who will certainly have a new quarterback after Drew Brees’ retirement; and the Cleveland Browns traveling to Arrowhead Stadium to face the Kansas City Chiefs.
NFL teams have known their 2021 opponents since the end of last season, but the league’s annual schedule day makes a spectacle of announcing the order, kickoff times and broadcast network for each of its 272 games, which includes a 17th regular-season contest for each team. The regular season will run until Jan. 9, and Super Bowl LVI will be played Feb. 13, the latest in a calendar year that the NFL has ever finished its season.
The remainder of the 2021 schedule will be announced Wednesday night.