The 2021 NFLregular season is approaching quickly, and for the first time in two years, preseason games will return. The 2020 slate of preseason games was wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic, but all 32 teams are set to play three contests this fall now that the NFL has expanded to a 17-game regular season.
Things will kick off on Aug. 5 with the Hall of Fame Game between the Steelers and Cowboys, who were supposed to meet in Canton to open the previous preseason before that was called off. This game will be a bonus fourth preseason contest for the two storied franchises, and the remaining 30 teams will make their debuts the following week.
The Hall of Fame Game (which is broadcasted on FOX) will be one of five nationally televised preseason games. ESPN will carry Chiefs-Cardinals on Friday, Aug. 20, and Jaguars-Saints on Monday, Aug. 23, while CBS has Dolphins-Bengals and NBC has Browns-Falcons on Sunday, Aug. 29. Local FOX and CBS stations are expected to carry the remaining games.
Preseason games may be meaningless, but with an extra week break built in after the final ones, teams may opt to play starters longer. And, of course, there's always the excitement of seeing rookie quarterbacks make their first appearances, and this draft class had a loaded group of five first-round picks.
Note: Date, time, matchup all subject to change.
NFL Hall of Fame Weekend
Thursday, Aug. 5
Dallas vs. Pittsburgh, 8 p.m. ET on FOX
Preseason Week 1
Thursday, Aug. 12
Washington at New England, 7:30 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 13
Tennessee at Atlanta, 7 p.m.
Buffalo at Detroit, 7 p.m.
Dallas at Arizona, 10 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 14
Miami at Chicago, 1 p.m.
Cleveland at Jacksonville, 7 p.m.
New Orleans at Baltimore, 7 p.m.
Cincinnati at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.
Houston at Green Bay, 8 p.m.
Kansas City at San Francisco, 8:30 p.m.
Seattle at Las Vegas, 9 p.m.
Los Angeles Chargers at Los Angeles Rams, 10 p.m.
Carolina at Indianapolis
Denver at Minnesota
New York Jets at New York Giants
Preseason Week 2
Thursday, Aug. 19
New England at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 20
Kansas City at Arizona, TBD on ESPN
Cincinnati at Washington, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 21
Buffalo at Chicago, 1 p.m.
New York Jets at Green Bay, 4:25 p.m.
Atlanta at Miami, 7 p.m.
Baltimore at Carolina, 7 p.m.
Detroit at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.
Tennessee at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.
Houston at Dallas, 8 p.m.
Denver at Seattle, 10 p.m.
Las Vegas at Los Angeles Rams, 10 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 22
San Francisco at Los Angeles Chargers, 7:30 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 23
Jacksonville at New Orleans, 8 p.m. on ESPN
Indianapolis at Minnesota
New York Giants at Cleveland
Preseason Week 3
Friday, Aug. 27
Pittsburgh at Carolina, TBD
Indianapolis at Detroit, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 28
Green Bay at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Baltimore at Washington, 4 p.m.
Chicago at Tennessee, 7 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Houston, 8 p.m.
Los Angeles Rams at Denver, 9:05 p.m.
Los Angeles Chargers at Seattle, 10 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 29
Jacksonville at Dallas, 1 p.m.
Miami at Cincinnati, 4 p.m. on CBS
Las Vegas at San Francisco, 4 p.m.
New England at New York Giants, 7:30 p.m.
Cleveland at Atlanta, 8 p.m. on NBC
Arizona at New Orleans
Minnesota at Kansas City
Philadelphia at New York Jets