NFL schedule release: Rams open 2021 season on Sunday Night Football against Chicago Bears

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- The Los Angeles Rams will host the Chicago Bears to open the 2021 season as they play their first game with fans in attendance at the new $5 billion SoFi Stadium.

The NFL released full 2021-22 regular-season schedules for all teams Wednesday.

"It marks the second-consecutive season the Rams will open the season at home on Sunday Night Football. Last season, the Rams opened SoFi Stadium with a 20-17 win over the Dallas Cowboys. It also will be the Bears second trip to the iconic stadium. L.A. defeated Chicago 24-10 in a Week 7 Monday Night Football contest a season ago," the Rams organization said in a statement.

The full Rams schedule can be viewed here.

The full 2021 NFL schedule will be released at 5 p.m. Wednesday on ESPN2, ESPN+ and NFL Network. This year's 17 regular-season game schedule is a first for the league.

The Rams are not only debuting a new stadium to fans for Sunday Night Football, but a new quarterback after the blockbuster offseason trade with the Detroit Lions for Matthew Stafford.

Among notable games on the schedule: the Rams will host the reigning Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sept. 26); the matchup against the Lions now led by Jared Goff (Oct. 24); and the Green Bay Packers, who knocked the Rams out of the playoffs last season (Nov. 28). Their bye comes in Week 11.

The Bears matchup on Sept. 12 could also be intriguing for its quarterback controversy. Chicago drafted Ohio State star Justin Fields, but also has veterans Andy Dalton and Nick Foles on the roster and it's not clear yet who will start this season.

The Rams will host these teams at SoFi this year: Seattle Seahawks (Dec. 19), San Francisco 49ers (Jan. 9, 2022), Arizona Cardinals (Oct. 3), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sept. 26), Detroit Lions (Oct. 24), Chicago Bears (Sept. 12), Jacksonville Jaguars (Dec. 5), Tennessee Titans (Nov. 7).

The Rams will play away games against: Seahawks (Oct. 7), 49ers (Nov. 15), Cardinals (Dec. 13), New York Giants (Oct. 17), Green Bay Packers (Nov. 28), Minnesota Vikings (Dec. 26), Houston Texans (Oct. 31), Indianapolis Colts (Sept. 19), Baltimore Ravens (Jan. 2).

For the preseason, the Rams are expected to play against the Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders in Inglewood and then travel to Denver to play the Broncos.

Rams preseason games will be televised on ABC7.

SoFi Stadium opened for NFL games in September 2020, but no fans were allowed in the stands during the COVID-19 pandemic.



While fans are being allowed to return to sports stadiums in Los Angeles County after its move to the yellow tier, venues are still not allowed to provide full seating capacity. It's not clear yet what capacity will be allowed at SoFi stadium for the upcoming NFL season.

The Rams, who made it to the Super Bowl in the 2018-19 season, finished last season at 10-6 and were knocked out of the postseason by the Packers in the divisional playoffs.

In the offseason, they traded Goff and multiple draft picks to the Lions for Stafford. The Rams defense, led by Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey, was considered among the best in the league last season.

SoFi Stadium is not only welcoming fans for the first time this season, but will host Super Bowl LVI on Feb. 13, 2022. That will represent the first Super Bowl in the Los Angeles area since it was held at the Rose Bowl in 1993.

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The official ribbon cutting ceremony for SoFi Stadium in Inglewood was held Tuesday, just a few days before the venue's first major event.



The NFL expanded the length of the season to 17 games earlier this year. The season had stood at 16 games since 1978, when it was expanded from 14.

The Chargers schedule was also released Wednesday.
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