Will the return of star quarterback Dak Prescott put the Dallas Cowboys in the mix to claim the NFC Championship in 2021? Who will be under center when the San Francisco 49ers host the Green Bay Packers in an intriguing Week 3 matchup of conference championship favorites?
Who’s coming out on top when the LA Rams host the Detroit Lions in a week 7 matchup that features two teams that traded their starting quarterbacks to the other? Last, but not least, can the Arizona Cardinals get it done at home in their Week 17 NFC West division matchup against the Seattle Seahawks?
The 2021 NFL regular season may still be few months off, but now is a great time to check out some of the top NFC clashes on the 2021 docket. With that said, I’ve identified five NFC matchups on the 2021 schedule that all fit the bill of must-bet, must-see TV. Let’s jump right into action so you can plan your bets against their NFL odds.
Biggest NFC Rivalry Games in the 2021-22 NFL Calendar
Week 1 – Cowboys at Buccaneers
- When: Thursday, September 9 at 8:20 p.m. ET
- Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa
- TV: NBC
- NFC Odds: Dallas Cowboys+235 / Tampa Bay Buccaneers-29
The Cowboys went 6-10 in what was a lost season once Dak Prescott was injured. By now, everyone knows what Tampa Bay did with Tom Brady under center in his first season in the Sunshine State. Dallas will be explosive with Prescott and starters Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and La’el Collins all back in action to join Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Ezekiel Elliott. The Buccaneers returns all 22 starts from last season’s Super Bowl winning squad. This regular season opener could produce fireworks.
Week 3 – Packers at 49ers
- When: Sunday, September 26 at 8:20 p.m. ET
- Where: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara
- TV: NBC
All eyes will be on the Packers – and more specifically – whether or not Aaron Rodgers will be under center this coming campaign. In San Francisco, the 49ers are saying all the right things about Jimmy Garoppolo being their starter in 2020, but it’s really only a matter of time before No. 3 overall draft pick Trey Lance takes the job. That probably won’t happen until at least the halfway mark, but then again, who knows?
Week 7 – Lions at Rams
- When: Sunday, October 24 at 4:05 p.m. ET
- Where: SoFi Stadium, Inglewood
- TV: FOX
The Lions went 5-11 last season to finish last in the NFC North while the Rams went 10-6 to finish second in the NFC West. This game is must-see TV with Detroit and LA swapping starting quarterbacks in something of a head-scratching trade. The Rams could get back to their high-powered offensive ways with the big-armed Matt Stafford under center. Detroit made a big-time boo-boo by naming the mediocre Jared Goff as their new starter.
Week 8 – 49ers at Bears
- When: Sunday, October 31 at 1:00 p.m. ET
- Where: Soldier Field, Chicago
By the time this game rolls around, we could see Trey Lance under center in Frisco and Justin Fields under center in the Windy City. Hell, Fields could very well start in Chicago over one of the Bears‘ mediocre veteran starters. Either way, that possibility makes this Week 8 pairing must-see TV.
Week 18 – Seahawks at Cardinals
- When: Sunday, January 9 at 4:25 p.m. ET
- Where: State Farm Stadium
Seattle went 12-4 last year and survived rumors that Russell Wilson could bolt in the offseason by upgrading their offensive line to please their future Hall of Famer. Arizona is looking to make the leap to playoff participant after going an encouraging 8-8 in Year 2 of the Kyler Murray/Kliff Kingsbury era. Seattle and Arizona have split their two regular season meetings in each of the last two seasons and this regular season finale could have playoff implications for both teams.