CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46) – The 2021 Carolina Panthers 17-game schedule has officially been released. It’s also the first time in league history that each team will be 17 games.
The schedule is highlighted by new Carolina quarterback Sam Darnold’s reunion with the New York Jets in Week 1, former league MVP Cam Newton’s return to the Carolinas in Week 9, former head coach Ron Rivera’s return to Charlotte in Week 11 and just one primetime game that comes in Week 3.
Every game is scheduled for 1 p.m. except the Thursday Night Football game, possible flex game at Buffalo and a Week 10 matchup vs. the Arizona Cardinals
TBD date: at Indianapolis Colts
Aug 20-22 vs. Baltimore Ravens
Aug. 27 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 1: Sept. 12 vs. New York Jets at 1 p.m.
Sam Darnold’s first game as a Panther comes against the team he spent his first three years of his career with.
Week 2: Sept. 19 vs. New Orleans Saints. Sept. 19 at 1 p.m.
Carolina faces a New Orleans team that will be playing just its second game in over a decade without Drew Brees on the roster.
Week 3: Sept. 23 at Houston Texans at 8:20 p.m. (TNF)
The first primetime game of the season for Carolina comes against a Houston team that has a bit of chaos around the QB position with the uncertainty of Deshaun Watson.
Week 4: Oct. 3 at Dallas Cowboys at 1 p.m.
Carolina stays in the state of Texas for a second-straight game to face Dak and Zeke.
Week 5: Oct. 10 vs. Philadelphia Eagles. at 1 p.m.
Jalen Hurts and the Eagles will travel to face the Panthers. Matt Rhule will go against the team that practiced near him during his time at Temple and Penn State.
Week 6: Oct. 17 vs. Minnesota Vikings. at 1 p.m.
A must-see running back matchup between Christian McCaffrey and Dalvin Cook.
Week 7: Oct. 24 at New York Giants. at 1 p.m.
Giants cornerback James Bradberry will face Carolina for the first time since leaving the team as a free agent before last season. Giants kicker Graham Gano and GM Dave Gettleman will also be facing their old team.
Week 8: Oct. 31 at Atlanta Falcons. at 1 p.m.
First division matchup will take place in Atlanta against Matt Ryan and new head coach Arthur Smith.
Week 9: Nov. 7 vs. New England Patriots at 1 p.m.
The return of Cam Newton. That’s all.
Week 10: Nov. 14 at Arizona Cardinals and 4:05 p.m.
These two have quite a history against each other. The Cardinals offense should be even more high-powered this season.
Week 11: Nov. 21 vs. Washington Football Team at 1 p.m.
Ron Rivera makes his return to Charlotte and faces the Panthers for the second time as Washington’s head coach.
Week 12: Nov. 28 at Miami Dolphins at 1 p.m.
Tua Tagovaiola and the up-and-coming Dolphins will host the Panthers.
Week 13: BYE WEEK
Week 14: Dec. 12 vs. Atlanta Falcons at 1 p.m.
Week 15: Dec. 18/19 at Buffalo Bills TBD
This game can be flexed with an undetermined date and time. It might be must-see TV between Carolina North and the actual Carolina team.
Week 16: Dec. 26 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 1 p.m.
Panthers don’t face Tom Brady and the defending champions until late in the season.
Week 17: Jan. 2 at New Orleans Saints at 1 p.m.
Will Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill be the starter by this point?
Week 18: Jan. 9 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 1 p.m
Buccaneers twice in three weeks to finish the year.