Before Thursday night or even Sunday night was saved for NFL football each fall, Monday Night Football has been bringing football fans primetime football for the last 51 years. As we head into the 2021 NFL season, here is what you need to know about the slate of Monday Night Football games.
Monday Night Football’s 52nd season will air ESPN and is set to feature a broadcast booth that includes Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Louis Riddick, with Lisa Salters serving as the sideline reporter and John Parry as the officiating analyst. In addition to the usual ESPN broadcast, the sports network has also announced an alternative broadcast that will feature Peyton and Eli Manning calling 10 of the games and airing on ESPN 2.
The slate of games for Monday Night Football this year will include some classic rivalries, including Eagles-Cowboys, Rams-49ers, Patriots-Bills, Vikings-Bears and Browns-Steelers. Here is the full Monday Night Football schedule for the 2021 NFL season.
Week 1: Baltimore Ravens at Las Vegas Raiders, 8:15 p.m. ET
Week 2: Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers, 8:15 p.m. ET
Week 3: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys, 8:15 p.m. ET
Week 4: Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers, 8:15 p.m. ET
Week 5: Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens, 8:15 p.m. ET
Week 6: Buffalo Bills at Tennessee Titans, 8:15 p.m. ET
Week 7: New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks, 8:15 p.m. ET
Week 8: New York Giants at Kansas City Chiefs, 8:15 p.m. ET
Week 9: Chicago Bears at Pittsburgh Steelers, 8:15 p.m ET
Week 10: Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers, 8:15 p.m. ET
Week 11: New York Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 8:15 p.m. ET
Week 12: Seattle Seahawks at Washington Football Team, 8:15 p.m. ET
Week 13: New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills, 8:15 p.m. ET
Week 14: Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals, 8:15 p.m. ET
Week 15: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears, 8:15 p.m. ET
Week 16: Miami Dolphins at New Orleans Saints, 8:15 p.m. ET
Week 17: Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers, 8:15 p.m. ET
Matchup preview: Baltimore Ravens at Las Vegas Raiders
Not too far from the Las Vegas strip, Monday Night Football will have its first broadcast of the season calling the game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Las Vegas Raiders. In recent years the Ravens have been one of the better teams in the NFL, consistently making the playoffs but failing to find their way back to the Super Bowl, whereas the Raiders have been struggling over the more frustrating hill of just getting to the playoffs.
Coming into the 2021 season, the number one goal for the Ravens was to surround its star quarterback, Lamar Jackson, with an improved group of offensive playmakers. But putting a wrench in those plans to start the year are injuries that occurred in the preseason. Highly touted rookie wide receiver Rashod Bateman is starting the year on injury reserve with the hope of returning, while running backs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards tore their ACLs and will miss the entire year.
On the plus side, the Baltimore defense, which has been a staple for the franchise since they entered the league, is as talented as always. Marlon Humphrey, Justin Houston, Patrick Queen and Calais Campbell are just some of the highly touted defenders that hope to make life hard for opposing offenses, starting with the Raiders. However, the injury bug also found star cornerback Marcus Peters, who torn his ACL and is done for the year
Jackson and company have proven that they’ll practically always be in contention, the question is whether the group can stay healthy and put it all together to top the best teams in the AFC like the Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Las Vegas Raiders, meanwhile, are looking to finally break through in the second stint with head coach Jon Gruden after last year’s 8-8 record was the best that the team has finished since he rejoined them in 2018.
That’s been the Raiders reputation for the last few years — OK, but little better than average. To break that mold they will need to see its star players reach their full potential, including quarterback Derek Carr, former first-round pick Henry Ruggs and a highly-talented but mostly unproven group in the secondary. Gruden also needs to find some of what made him one of the best coaches in the league in the early 2000s again.
Of course the path isn’t going to be easy when you have to play the Chiefs twice a year, as well as an improving Los Angeles Chargers team. But if they can defend their home turf against the visiting Ravens they will certainly be off on the right foot this season.
As of Sept. 10, the Ravens are 4.5 point favorites to pull of the road win in Las Vegas.
Monday Night Football has been airing on ESPN since 2006 after having previously been on ABC since its beginning in 1970. The move to the cable sports network obviously made it a bit harder to get the game, but ESPN is available through practically all cable and satellite providers.
For the first game of Monday Night Football’s slate, Baltimore Ravens at Las Vegas Raiders, ESPN will also simulcast its broadcast on ABC, which will allow anyone with access to their local ABC network watch the game, be that through a cable subscription, a TV antenna or other.
The other I’m talking about generally refers to vMVPD live streaming services like Fubo TV, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV and YouTube TV. All of these options include the ability to watch ESPN, though it may depend on the package in some cases (i.e. Sling TV).
In addition, ESPN will have an ESPN Deportes broadcast of every Monday Night Football game this year. ESPN Deportes is available on most pay-TV providers, but it is also among the channels available via Fubo TV, Hulu with Live TV and Sling TV.
All of these options will allow you to watch Monday Night Football on your TV, but if you want to watch on a mobile device or your computer, you can do so through Watch ESPN, either the website or an app. If you have access to ESPN through any service you are able to utilize Watch ESPN.
Monday Night Football over in the U.K. is more like Tuesday Morning Football, but at least fans can tune in live across the pond. Sky Sports’ is the home of the NFL in the U.K. via its NFL Channel, showing live Sunday, Monday and Thursday games. Sky Sports airs the games live, so that means the 8:15 p.m. ET kickoffs for Monday Night Football will actually be 1:20 a.m. kickoff for U.K. viewers.
If that’s too late (or early) for you, NFL Game Pass is an option. The international version of this subscription service offers live broadcasts of games as well as the opportunity to watch the full broadcast on-demand or a condensed version of the broadcast that only features the plays.
Football fans around the world can tune into the Monday Night Football broadcast every week from wherever they are if they utilize a virtual private network. A VPN is designed to route network traffic through a specific set of servers in a specific country, allowing viewers to watch content on an encrypted feed over a computer.
ExpressVPN is one of the easiest and affordable ways to watch what you want from anywhere you want to watch it. Plus it’ll help keep your network traffic away from any prying eyes on public networks.
And it’s a great way to keep up with action from anywhere in the world.View Deal