NFL schedule release date 2021: When to expect an announcement, strength of schedule & more

The more, the merrier, as they say.

This year, the NFL is back with a bigger schedule than ever, with the league expanding the regular-season schedule to 17 games, pushing back the Super Bowl to the second week in February.

The schedule change, which was unilaterally imposed by the league’s owners, is the first time the regular-season schedule has been expanded since 1978. The league is keeping with its traditional 12-team playoff format, though, a year after expanding the playoffs to 14, letting two more teams in in an effort to recoup some losses from the 

Gridiron fans looking to the next big event after the 2021 NFL Draft can look no further than the league’s schedule release.

Here’s what we know:

NFL schedule release date 2021

The league is set to announce the 2021 slate of games for every NFL team on Wednesday, May 12. 

The new-look schedule is going have 17 games on the docket, with an extra game added to the schedule in accordance with the 2020 CBA. It’s the first expansion of the NFL’s regular-season schedule since 1978. 

Who has the toughest NFL schedule in 2021?

The Pittsburgh Steelers, coming off a 12-4 season, have the most difficult schedule to navigate in 2021. 

In addition to playing a difficult AFC North, the Steelers have to tango with the Seahawks, Packers and Chiefs this year. The Seahawks were the 17th opponent added for the league’s expanded schedule.

Who has the easiest NFL schedule in 2021?

Fly, Eagles, fly: Nick Sirianni and the Philadelphia Eagles have the easiest schedule for 2021.

Playing against a weak — but improving — NFC East, the Eagles also draw the Lions, Broncos and Jets. They do have some difficult home games, with the 49ers and defending champion Bucs entering the building.

2021 NFL strength of schedule rankings

Fans pining for a different quarterback to hoist a Lombardi Trophy might not be happy with the rankings, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers gifted the second-easiest schedule in the league come the 2021 season. 

2021 NFL schedule for all 32 teams

While dates have yet to be set for each of the 32 teams’ matchups, fans have a decent idea as to who is playing who come the 2021 season. The formula the NFL uses is as follows:

While the dates and times of these games are scheduled to be released on May 12, we already know the opponents for all 32 squads. Here’s what we know:

AFC East

New England Patriots

Buffalo Bills

New York Jets

Miami Dolphins

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens

Pittsburgh Steelers

Cleveland Browns

Cincinnati Bengals

AFC South

Houston Texans

Tennessee Titans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs

Denver Broncos

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

NFC East

Philadelphia Eagles

Dallas Cowboys

New York Giants

Washington Football Team

NFC North

Green Bay Packers

Minnesota Vikings

Chicago Bears

Detroit Lions

NFC South

New Orleans Saints

Atlanta Falcons

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Carolina Panthers

NFC West

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Los Angeles Rams

Arizona Cardinals

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