With the full NFL schedule released recently, we know exactly how the 2021 season is mapped out. With surprising contenders and basement dwellers every year, it is anyone’s guess how things will shake out, but two teams are expected to really struggle based on new odds released by SuperBook.
The Lions sent Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams in return for some serious draft capital. They also took back former Rams starter Jared Goff, a former No. 1 pick and two-time Pro Bowler in his own right. The team is clearly rebuilding, but it isn’t expected to be a total teardown.
The Texans are in a much more precarious position. The franchise has had as chaotic an offseason as possible, with a long, drawn-out coaching search leading to the surprise hire of David Culley, the many, many things written about a questionable front office structure, and of course, the Deshaun Watson trade request and then sexual assault allegations.
It sounds more and more unlikely by the day that the team will have Watson available to play this year. Even with the mounting accusations against him, there’s no real indication that he’s interested in returning to the franchise should his legal situation be resolved. The team has Tyrod Taylor as a potential veteran stopgap starter, and selected Davis Mills with its first 2021 NFL Draft pick, which came in the third round.
Two teams – the Lions and Texans – are underdogs in every game right now.
The Chiefs are favorites in 16 games (and a Pick ‘Em at Baltimore in Week 2), most in the NFL.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) May 18, 2021
The Detroit Lions open their 2021 season at home against the San Francisco 49ers, before a trip to face the NFC North rival Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football in Week 2. They host the Baltimore Ravens in Week 3. It’s one of the more difficult starts for any NFL team this coming season.
Goff gets a date with his former team the Rams on Oct. 24, in Los Angeles. Games at the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks headline the back half of the schedule.
The Texans open with the division rival Jacksonville Jaguars, now led by Urban Meyer and Trevor Lawrence, at home, followed by a trip to face the Cleveland Browns. They have tricky AFC East matchups in back to back weeks, with the Buffalo Bills on the road in Week 4, and the New England Patriots at home in Week 5, and then a trip to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 6.
In the back half of the schedule, the Houston Texans host the Seattle Seahawks on Dec. 12, and the Los Angeles Chargers on Dec. 26, and head to the 49ers on Jan. 2.