For the first time in his 21-year NFL career, Tom Brady will get the chance to play against the Patriots. Due to the way the NFL’s rotating schedule works, NFC South teams will compete against all four AFC East teams this year.
That means, of course, that Brady’s privateers will face Bill Belichick and the Patriots during the 2021 campaign. Needless to say, the stakes will be high on this game as both members of the longtime coach / quarterback duo will attempt to duel each other on the field.
With the release of the 2021 NFL schedule, we now know when Tampa Bay is heading to New England for the competition. And luckily, fans don’t have to wait long to see a game that many never thought we would make.
MORE: Full Buccaneers schedule for the 2021 season
Everything you need to know about Tom Brady’s return to New England is here, including the date, time and TV channel for the competition.
When will Tom Brady play the Patriots?
- Date: Sunday 3rd October
- Kick-off time: 8:20 p.m. ET
- TV channel: NBC
Tom Brady will return to New England in Week 4 of the NFL season to play the Patriots. The October 3 game will be broadcast on NBC’s Sunday Night Football and will be one of the season’s marquee matchups.
It won’t just be Brady’s return to New England. Tight end Rob Gronkowski will also be playing against his former club for the first time in ’21. That will mark two likely Hall of Famers who will face New England for the first time. Belichick will surely cook some pieces to slow them down.
It’s unclear who the Patriots will start quarterback at this point in the season, but it seems likely that it will be either Cam Newton or Mac Jones. If it’s Jones, the first-round rookie has a chance to earn early popularity with Patriots fans if he can beat the team’s former star and bring in some boastful rights to Belichick and the Patriots.
The Buccaneers will be in the second game of a two-week road trip and have just faced the Rams in Los Angeles prior to this competition. It may not be easy for them to go coast to coast for this matchup, especially considering how tough the Rams can be as opponents. In the meantime, the Patriots will play a home game against the Saints that will be easier for them to return from in the post Drew Brees period.
No matter what happens in this game, it is sure to be great. Brady and Belichick are two of the NFL’s ultimate competitors, and this could be the only time they’ll face each other as they enter the dawn of their careers. They’ll all be sure to bring their A-games to this great matchup.