The dates on the New England Patriots’ 2021 calendar are now written in ink.
New England will open the 17-game regular season at Gillette Stadium with a 4:25 p.m. ET kickoff against the AFC East’s Miami Dolphins on Sept. 12, the NFL announced Wednesday.
A matinee road meeting with the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium will follow before the page turns back home versus the New Orleans Saints and then Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers under the lights on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.”
Further down the slate comes the return of another quarterback to the organization that drafted him, as former No. 1 overall pick Cam Newton projects to see the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium in Week 9.
From the exhibitions onward, here’s New England’s full schedule.
- Week 1: vs. Washington Football Team — 7:30 p.m. ET Thursday, Aug. 12
- Week 2: at Philadelphia Eagles — 7:30 p.m. ET Thursday, Aug. 19
- Week 3: at New York Giants — 7:30 p.m. ET Sunday, Aug. 29
- Week 1: vs. Miami Dolphins — 4:25 p.m. ET Sunday, Sept. 12
- Week 2: at New York Jets — 1 p.m. ET Sunday, Sept. 19
- Week 3: vs. New Orleans Saints — 1 p.m. ET Sunday, Sept. 26
- Week 4: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — 8:20 p.m. ET Sunday, Oct. 3
- Week 5: at Houston Texans — 1 p.m. ET Sunday, Oct. 10
- Week 6: vs. Dallas Cowboys — 4:25 p.m. ET Sunday, Oct. 17
- Week 7: vs. New York Jets — 1 p.m. ET Sunday, Oct. 24
- Week 8: at Los Angeles Chargers — 4:05 p.m. ET Sunday, Oct. 31
- Week 9: at Carolina Panthers — 1 p.m. ET Sunday, Nov. 7
- Week 10: vs. Cleveland Browns — 1 p.m. ET Sunday, Nov. 14
- Week 11: at Atlanta Falcons — 8:20 p.m. ET Thursday, Nov. 18
- Week 12: vs. Tennessee Titans — 1 p.m. ET Sunday, Nov. 28
- Week 13: at Buffalo Bills — 8:15 p.m. ET Monday, Dec. 6
- Week 14: bye
- Week 15: at Indianapolis Colts — TBD
- Week 16: vs. Buffalo Bills — 1 p.m. ET Sunday, Dec. 26
- Week 17: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars — 1 p.m. ET Sunday, Jan. 2
- Week 18: at Miami Dolphins — 1 p.m. ET Sunday, Jan. 9
After New England played a handful primetime games over the course of the 7-9 campaign, a trio are ahead as the league’s plans stand. That trio includes the defending Super Bowl champions in October as well as visits to the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in November and the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium in December.
Along the way arrives a Week 14 bye, which marks the latest for head coach Bill Belichick’s roster in 20 years.
The Patriots’ 2021 opponents posted a combined 133-139 record last regular season, tying for 19th in strength of schedule. Seven games are upcoming against teams that secured playoff berths.