The New England Patriots‘ entire 2021 schedule has been released per Patriots.com, and that means we now know the date Tom Brady will return to Gillette Stadium.
The much-discussed return of The GOAT to take on Bill Belichick will happen on Sunday, October 3. It will be the Sunday Night NFL game during the league’s Week 4 slate.
NFL.com’s Mike Giardi spoke about the additional significance of Brady’s return to Foxborough, which could end with a record-setting performance from the future Hall-of-Famer:
— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) May 13, 2021
Could the Patriots really prevent Brady from becoming the NFL’s all-time passing leader on their field–while handing him a loss?
Patriots 2021 Schedule
Here is a complete look at the Patriots’ pre-season and regular season schedule for 2021.
- 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
According to NFL.com’s Mike Clay, the Patriots have the sixth easiest schedule in the league based on team’s win-loss records from 2020.
2021 NFL strength of schedule based on current rosters.
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) May 4, 2021
Pats’ Pulpit’s Keagan Stiefel is seemingly predicting a painful Week 2 experience for New York Jets rookie Zach Wilson.
My first and only thought on the #Patriots schedule leak is how hilarious week two is going to be. Zach Wilson’s first start at home will come against Bill Belichick and his revamped Pats defense. Tremendous.
Belichick routinely dismantled Sam Darnold during his tenure with the Jets. It will be interesting to see if he can New York’s next young franchise quarterback the same way.
Cam Newton’s Reunion Game
Brady’s return to New England is understandably receiving a ton of attention league wide, and especially in Boston. Expect it to be the hottest ticket in town when Week 4 rolls around.
However, Alex Barth of CLNS points out something many in New England are missing, and that’s Cam Newton’s reunion game back in Carolina.
Quick schedule thought: Tom Brady isn’t the only one with a reunion lined up for 2021. Cam Newton’s return to Carolina is an interesting storyline as well. I feel like that should be an early season game, especially after the Patriots drafted Mac Jones.
If we’re picturing the ultimate feel-good season for Newton and the Patriots, it would be one that has them win 11 or more games, winning the AFC East, making the postseason, and returning to the Super Bowl after beating Brady in New England, and handling the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte.