Jets-Texans Among Worst Games on NFL 2021 Full Schedule originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The NFL released the full 2021 NFL schedule on Wednesday, and there are a ton of intriguing matchups.
From revenge games to rivalries to rookies, the league's first year with a 17-game schedule is jam-packed with exciting storylines. Some matchups have no buzz at all, though.
Certain teams are destined for bad seasons while others are plain, old mediocre. When you add in kickoff time, too, sometimes there's just no real reason to tune in.
Here are 10 of the worst matchups on the NFL's 2021 slate:
49ers vs. Lions (Week 1)
Fans will be eager for football to come back, but this game might be the least intriguing matchup of Week 1.
The best chance for added excitement is for Trey Lance to usurp Jimmy Garoppolo right out of the gate. Unless San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan is willing to start the No. 3 pick immediately, this game should be the most predictable one of the league's opening slate. The 49ers are currently 7.5-point favorites in Detroit -- according to our partner, PointsBet -- the highest number for any team in Week 1.
Titans vs. Jets (Week 4)
Get your popcorn ready for the ... Corey Davis revenge game?
The Titans won the AFC South last season but lost several key players this offseason, including Davis, Jonnu Smith, Jadeveon Clowney and Malcolm Butler. They are still projected to have a winning record, but this team has much less firepower than the 11-5 squad from a year ago.
On the other side, No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson will be running the show with Sam Darnold now in Carolina and could endure some bumps along the way in his rookie season.
Eagles vs. Panthers (Week 5)
This one is perhaps more ordinary than bad.
Jalen Hurts will be under center for the Birds after taking over for Carson Wentz in the middle of last season. On the other side, Darnold will be stepping in for Teddy Bridgewater as the Panthers’ starting QB.
The two teams won nine combined games last season. With two young QBs in new roles, it could take a little while for both of these teams to get going in 2021.
Bengals vs. Lions (Week 6)
Two No. 1 overall picks will be under center in this one, but that's just about the only juicy storyline for this matchup.
Jared Goff got shipped from Los Angeles to Detroit in a blockbuster trade that sent Matthew Stafford to the Lions. On the other side, Joe Burrow will be running the show for the Bengals in his second NFL season.
Neither of these teams made the playoffs last season, and it's hard to see that changing in 2021.
Giants vs. Chiefs (Week 8)
The Chiefs have the chance to complete the season's biggest Monday night blowout against the Giants in Week 8.
The Patrick Mahomes-Daniel Jones QB matchup is hilariously lopsided. The intrigue in this one might be more about how many big deficits Patrick Mahomes can overcome for fantasy football owners.
Bears vs. Steelers (Week 9)
How can a game between two 2020 playoff teams fall on this list?
Well, while Giants-Chiefs could feature the largest victory of the Monday Night Football slate, this game could be the lowest-scoring one.
Chicago had the 23rd-best scoring offense last season and it's unknown who the Bears' "QB1" will be between new addition Andy Dalton and No. 11 overall pick Justin Fields. The Steelers were 12th in points last season, but the team lost five of its last six games including the playoffs.
Raiders vs. Cowboys (Week 12)
You and your family should be able to enjoy a nice, comfortable Thanksgiving dinner if you want to take a break from football.
The Lions -- who could really make up half this list -- host the Bears in the early window, the Cowboys host the Raiders in the second slot and the Bills will host the Saints in primetime. The Las Vegas-Dallas matchup represents an underwhelming Turkey Day slate.
Jets vs. Texans (Week 12)
At this point in the season, both teams could be looking more at a draft spot than a playoff spot. The Jets will be coming off two divisional matchups at home against the Bills and Dolphins that could go a long way in determining their postseason chances. The Texans, on the other hand, are only projected to win a handful of games in 2020 and could use a high first-round selection after their last two firsts went to Miami.
Texans vs. Jaguars (Week 15)
Since these two are divisional foes, we get two of these matchups. The first one comes in Houston in Week 1, and that one will be a must-watch as No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence is slated to make his NFL debut.
The second tilt between these two sides will likely draw much less interest. Both teams enter the season with bottom-five projected win totals, so the game is unlikely to have playoff implications. Instead, it gives Lawrence the chance to put up some good stats and pick up a win in his rookie season.
Chiefs vs. Broncos (Week 18)
Chad Henne time, anybody?
By the final game of the 2020 season, the Chiefs had locked up the No. 1 seed in the AFC, giving him a chance to rest before the playoffs. The same could happen this season, as they have the highest projected win total and best Super Bowl odds in the entire NFL.
With Mahomes safely on the bench, Denver could get a freeby to cap off their regular season.
Editor's note: All odds are provided by our partner, PointsBet. PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.
Max Molski contributed to this story.