The most hotly anticipated game of the 2021 season pits the Green Bay Packers at Kansas City Chiefs. With the schedule officially released, we now know that game will kick off in Week 9, in the late-afternoon slot on FOX.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid joined NFL Network's Schedule Release '21 and told former coach Steve Mariucci he was excited about the matchup.
"We've got some good quarterback matchups, that being one of them," Reid said. "Rodgers is gonna go down as one of the all-time best ever. And I know those two have a relationship, they do those commercials together. So, there'll be that nice competition between those two and obviously, they've got a bunch of good players. So, we'll have to be ready for that one."
Questions regarding the reigning MVP's future in Green Bay cloud whether or not the Rodgers-Mahomes battle will indeed play out in Week 9. On the flip side, if Denver or Las Vegas -- the teams rumored as the most likely trade destinations for Rodgers if the Packers moved on -- acquire the QB, we'd get Aaron-Patrick twice a year.
With or without Rodgers, the Packers should remain a playoff contender under Matt LaFleur, who has gone 26-6 with two NFC Championship appearances in his first two seasons as coach.
The Chiefs' 2021 schedule is tied for the 11th most difficult, based on 2020 opponents' records -- a perhaps faulty mode of analyzing the schedule on May 13. That schedule starts tough with playoff teams in Cleveland and Baltimore and a potential upstart in the Chargers to open the year.
Before facing the Packers in Week 9, Reid's squad hosts the New York Giants on Monday Night Football. The Super Bowl-winning coach will be on a short week as he prepares for Rodgers and Co., making an already difficult matchup that much more challenging.