NFL schedule 2021: Here's when Patriots will host Tom Brady, Bucs

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Here's when Patriots will host Tom Brady, Bucs originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

New England Patriots fans can mark their calendars for the most important date of the fall.

The Patriots will host Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 4 -- Sunday, Oct. 3 -- on NBC's "Sunday Night Football.

The game will mark Brady's first trip to Gillette Stadium since leaving the Patriots in March 2020 to sign with the Bucs in free agency. Brady's history in New England -- six Super Bowl championships over 20 seasons -- and tenuous relationship with Bill Belichick should make this one of the most fascinating games of the season.'

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Brady also just won his seventh Super Bowl title, so the Patriots will have their hands full with the defending champion Bucs after going 7-9 last season.

We also know New England's Week 1 opponent, as the Patriots will open the season at home against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, Sept. 12 at 4:25 p.m. ET.

That should be a fun matchup: Dolphins head coach Brian Flores gets another shot at his former team, while Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy and offensive lineman Ted Karras both played in Miami last season after previous stints in New England. Jason McCourty also will face his old team after signing with the Dolphins in free agency.

The full Patriots schedule was released Wednesday night, and you can check it out here.