2021 NFL schedule: Three Rams 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 Los Angeles Rams fans should circle on their calendars this fall:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Los Angeles Rams, Week 3, Sept. 26, 4:25 p.m. ET (FOX)

This would be a candidate for the NFL Kickoff Game, if only it were being played in Tampa Bay. L.A. prevailed at Raymond James Stadium in a thrilling Monday night battle last November. A date at SoFi Stadium between two of the more balanced teams in football doesn't figure to disappoint, either. The Rams are hoping Matthew Stafford can do for them what Tom Brady did for the Bucs last year. That is, as Michael Brockers eloquently put it, take them a level up. If so, L.A. is a prime candidate to spoil the defending champs' repeat bid.

Detroit Lions at Los Angeles Rams, Week 7, Oct. 24, 4:05 p.m. ET (FOX)

This one has storylines for days. The two teams have spent a good chunk of the offseason making deals. First, Rams director of college scouting Brad Holmes becomes the Lions general manager. Then he hires L.A. cornerbacks coach Aubrey Pleasant as his defensive backs coach. Then he unloads quarterback Stafford for Jared Goff and serious draft capital. Then he deals for Brockers, who had just applauded his now former team for upgrading its QB situation. All that mixing and matching makes this meeting inherently personal, even for a Rams team perceived to be the winner of the exchanges.

Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers, Week 10, Nov. 15, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

The Rams are 19-9 versus all opponents not named the 49ers the past two seasons. They're 0-4 when facing their longtime rivals from the Bay. And they've had an especially tough time on offense in those games. Perhaps the addition of Stafford and subtraction of Robert Saleh will alter this trend. It's a weird one, considering Sean McVay is a combined 14-3 in meetings with the Seahawks and Cardinals. But Kyle Shanahan (and, interestingly, Jimmy Garoppolo) clearly has his former disciple's number. L.A. also needs to start winning more often on the road (8-8 since 2019) if it's going to be a Super Bowl contender.

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

Sept. 12 vs. Chicago Bears, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Sept. 19 at Indianapolis Colts, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Sept. 26 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)

Oct. 3 vs. Arizona Cardinals, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)

Oct. 7 at Seattle Seahawks, 8:20 p.m. (FOX/NFL Network/Amazon)**

Oct. 17 at New York Giants, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Oct. 24 vs. Detroit Lions, 4:05 p.m. (FOX)

Oct. 31 at Houston Texans, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Nov. 7 vs. Tennessee Titans, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)*

Nov. 15 at San Francisco 49ers, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

Nov. 21 -- BYE

Nov. 28 at Green Bay Packers, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)

Dec. 5 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)

Dec. 13 at Arizona Cardinals, 8:15 p.m. (ESPN)

Dec. 19 vs. Seattle Seahawks, 4:25 p.m. (FOX)

Dec. 26 at Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Jan. 2 at Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m. (FOX)

Jan. 9 vs. San Francisco 49ers, 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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