2021 NFL schedule: Three Panthers 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 Carolina Panthers fans should circle on their calendars this fall:

New England Patriots at Carolina Panthers, Week 9, Nov. 7, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)

The sight of Cam Newton in a Patriots uniform still has to be surreal for the Carolina faithful. And although it'll have been over a year since his departure, the reaction to Newton's first march into Bank of America Stadium in colors other than the Panther blue, black and silver should be electric. Considering all the thrills the former MVP provided during his Panthers tenure, the energy throughout this clash should be palpable.

New York Jets at Carolina Panthers, Week 1, Sept. 12, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)

Sam Darnold's days with the Jets were marred by struggle and criticism. This game will give the former third-overall pick a chance to begin re-shaping his image against the team that gave up on him. Proving he's worthy of the pick New York once used on him will require more than just outshining his successor Zach Wilson, but doing so would be a crucial step on Darnold's journey. Also, don't be surprised if we see a heavy dose of Robby Anderson in this one due to his own N.Y. ties.

Washington Football Team at Carolina Panthers, Week 11, Nov. 21, 1 p.m. ET (FOX)

The reasons behind why this game is one to watch largely have nothing to do with football. Fans in need of a feel-good moment will want to witness Ron Rivera being welcomed back to Charlotte in a display sure to be full of emotion. From a football perspective, this could be a solid matchup, but that hinges on Carolina's O-line being ready for Chase Young and the WFT D-line. If not, there's a good chance Darnold will be seeing ghosts again.

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

Sept. 12 vs. New York Jets, 1 p.m. (CBS)

Sept. 19 vs. New Orleans Saints, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Sept. 23 at Houston Texans, 8:20 p.m. (NFL Network)

Oct. 3 at Dallas Cowboys, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Oct. 10 vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Oct. 17 vs. Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Oct. 24 at New York Giants, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Oct. 31 at Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Nov. 7 vs. New England Patriots, 1 p.m. (CBS)

Nov. 14 at Arizona Cardinals, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)

Nov. 21 vs. Washington Football Team, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Nov. 28 at Miami Dolphins, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Dec. 5 -- BYE

Dec. 12 vs. Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Dec. 18 or 19 at Buffalo Bills, TBD (TBD)

Dec. 26 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Jan. 2 at New Orleans Saints, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Jan. 9 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 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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