2021 NFL schedule: Three Cardinals games for fans to circle

Editor's note: NFL.com is breaking down all 32 team schedules for the 2021 season. Here are the three games Arizona Cardinals fans should circle on their calendars this fall:

Arizona Cardinals at Cleveland Browns, Week 6, Oct. 17, 4:05 p.m. ET (FOX)

The last time Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield were on the same playing field, they were donning crimson for the Oklahoma Sooners in the 2018 Rose Bowl. The Texas natives have more in common than most, having both transferred to OU before winning Heismans and becoming No. 1 overall draft picks in successive years. Moreover, Mayfield began his college career playing for Kliff Kingsbury, and Murray his pro one. The two have grown into above-average QBs who lead teams expecting to take another step forward in 2021. That will likely come down to whether the young gunslingers continue improving as well.

Arizona Cardinals at Dallas Cowboys, Week 17, Jan. 2, 1 p.m. ET (FOX)

The old NFC East rivals faced off at AT&T Stadium just a year ago. Unfortunately, the meeting came one week after Dak Prescott's ankle injury and wasn't competitive. Health permitting, this could be a matchup between eventual playoff teams. Arizona transformed into a top-15 defense overnight in 2020 and then went on an offseason spending spree that would make Jerry Jones blush. The Cowboys are hoping their revamped defense will produce similar results. Either way, both offenses should show out in this one.

San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals, Week 5, Oct. 10, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)

They say division games count as two, and that especially goes for the best one in football. A loss means probably either lowering your playoff seed or keeping you out. The Cardinals know this all too well after the Niners stunned them last December at State Farm Stadium, where San Francisco was forced to play four of its final five games because of COVID restrictions in California. The Week 16 loss left Arizona, which upended a healthy version of the 49ers at Levi's Stadium in Week 1, one win short of a wild-card berth. Things will only get hotter for Kingsbury & Co. in the desert if they don't snap a five-year postseason drought in 2021.

Check out the full Cardinals schedule below (all times ET):

Sept. 12 at Tennessee Titans, 1 p.m. (CBS)

Sept. 19 vs. Minnesota Vikings, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)

Sept. 26 at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Oct. 3 at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)

Oct. 10 vs. San Francisco 49ers, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)

Oct. 17 at Cleveland Browns, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)

Oct. 24 vs. Houston Texans, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)

Oct. 28 vs. Green Bay Packers, 8:20 p.m. (FOX/NFL Network/Amazon)**

Nov. 7 at San Francisco 49ers, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)

Nov. 14 vs. Carolina Panthers, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)

Nov. 21 at Seattle Seahawks, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)

Nov. 28 -- BYE

Dec. 5 at Chicago Bears, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Dec. 13 vs. Los Angeles Rams, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

Dec. 19 at Detroit Lions, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Dec. 25 vs. Indianapolis Colts, 8:15 p.m. (NFL Network)

Jan. 2 at Dallas Cowboys, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Jan. 9 vs. Seattle Seahawks, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)

*Sunday night games in Weeks 5-17 subject to change; Week 18 game TBD

**NFL Network and Amazon simulcast subject to change

The 2021 schedule is being revealed today. Purchase your tickets to see the action live, here.

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