Playtime is over for Ron Rivera and the Washington Football Team. One season after finishing on top of the NFC East at 7-9, it's about building for the future.
The NFL officially released its first 17-game schedule for all 32 teams on Wednesday evening. With it, fans now know WFT's trials and tribulations as they look to repeat as division title winners for the first time since 1984.
With a top-notch defense, they'll be in the hunt. The real question will be if Ryan Fitzpatrick can keep the Fitzmagic alive for 18 weeks rather than a few games here and there.
Washington will begin the season with a home game against the Los Angeles Chargers. Justin Herbert will be entering his second season, hoping to elevate his game from his record-setting numbers during 2020. He'll have the protection to do so with the additions of Corey Linsley, Matt Feiler and Rashawn Slater this offseason.
WFT has not played the Chargers since the 2017 season, a matchup Los Angeles won 30-13. However, both franchise have made significant upgrades this offseason for better results. The additions of William Jackson III and rookie Jamin Davis should help keep a constant in the pass defense.
Kickoff will be at 1 p.m. EST and be broadcast on CBS.
WFT's first divisional game will come just four days later against the New York Giants on Thursday Night Football. Dave Gettleman spared no expense making sure third-year standout Daniel Jones would live up to expectations in 2021 following the additions of Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney.
READ MORE: Week 1 vs. Herbert & Chargers
Washington will hit the road for two games with trips to Orchard Park, N.Y. to take on the Buffalo Bills before heading down south to face the Atlanta Falcons. The NFC East will face the AFC West, leading to a home game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 6.
After finishing with the top seed in the division, WFT will also face fellow division winners Green Bay at Lambeau Field (Week 7) and Seattle at home (Week 12) on Monday Night Football. Washington's bye will be Week 9 following a road trip out west to face the Denver Broncos.
Barring any flips, Washington will have three primetime games in 2021, two against divisional rivals. As the season concludes, that could decide the division, with the final five games coming against the Giants, Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys.
Here's the full list of the 2021 season schedule below:
Week 1: vs. Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Sept. 12, 1:00 P.M. ET (CBS)
Week 2: vs. New York Giants (TNF), Thursday, Sept. 16, 8:20 P.M. (NFL Network)
Week 3: @ Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Sep.26, 1:00 P.M. ET
Week 4: @ Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Oct. 3, 1:00 P.M.
Week 5: vs New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Oct. 10, 1:00 P.M. ET
Week 6: vs Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Oct. 17, 1:00 P.M. ET
Week 7: @ Green Bay Packers, Sunday, Oct. 24, 1:00 P.M. ET
Week 8: @ Denver Broncos, Sunday, Oct. 31, 4:25 P.M. ET
Week 9: *BYE*
Week 10: vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Nov. 14, 1:00 P.M. ET
Week 11: @ Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Nov. 21, 1:00 P.M. ET
Week 12: vs Seattle Seahawks (MNF), Monday, Nov. 29, 8:25 P.M. ET
Week 13: @ Las Vegas Raiders, Sunday, Dec. 5, 4:05 P.M. ET
Week 14: vs Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Dec. 12, 1:00 P.M. ET
Week 15: @ Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Dec. 18 or 19, TBD E.T.
Week 16: @ Dallas Cowboys (SNF), Sunday, Dec. 26, 8:20 P.M ET
Week 17: vs. Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Jan. 2, 1:00 P.M. ET
Week 18: @ New York Giants, Sunday, Jan. 9, 1:00 P.M. ET