Patriots

Tom Brady, Bucs get marquee matchup for 2021 NFL Kickoff game

Patriots

The NFL is swinging for the fences on opening weekend.

Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won Super Bowl LV, which means they get to host the first game of the 2021 NFL season. That matchup was revealed Wednesday morning, and it's a doozy: Bucs vs. Dallas Cowboys on Thursday, Sept. 9, on NBC.

This should be one of the most-watched games of the NFL season for several reasons. The Bucs will get to raise their Super Bowl banner for just the second time in franchise history, while Brady will participate in his seventh banner-raising ceremony and first outside New England.

Brady also is set to face Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, who missed the final 11 games of the 2020 season due to an ankle injury. Brady has faced Prescott just once before, a 13-9 Patriots victory over Dallas in 2019.

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While Bucs-Cowboys is a marquee matchup, it's still a prelude to the biggest game on Tampa Bay's schedule in Week 4. That's when the Bucs reportedly will visit the Patriots in Brady's first game in New England after 20 seasons with Bill Belichick.

The full NFL schedule will be released Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET, but we already know two games featuring Brady that will get plenty of eyeballs.