jets panthers
Syndication: The Record

The NFL schedule release will officially occur Wednesday night, but leading up to the event, CBS has officially revealed its Week 1 slate.

We knew the Jets would need to travel to Charlotte to face the Carolina Panthers at some point this upcoming season. However, we didn’t know it would be either team’s first regular-season matchup of the year, which makes the storyline all the more intriguing.

On Wednesday morning, with the 2021 NFL schedule release set to officially occur Wednesday night at 8:00 p.m. ET, CBS revealed its Week 1 slate, which includes the Jets-Panthers meeting at 1:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 12.

This means quarterback Sam Darnold, right off the bat, will face the team that just traded him — New York sent Darnold to Carolina for a trio of draft picks last month nearly three years after drafting him in 2018’s opening round.

The Jets additionally face another one of their former employees in wide receiver Robby Anderson, who left Florham Park to ink a two-year, $20 million deal with the Panthers last year.

Zach Wilson, if he starts right away (which is currently set to be the case), will face a Panthers defense that was in the bottom half of the league in all four major categories last year. However, Carolina used its No. 8 overall pick in this year’s draft to acquire arguably the top cornerback on the board in South Carolina’s Jaycee Horn.

The Panthers additionally signed former Cardinals edge rusher Haason Reddick to a one-year deal this offseason. Reddick notched 12.5 sacks for Arizona last year and should help bolster the Panthers pass rush in 2021.

Additional Week 1 matchups on CBS include the Browns and Chiefs at 4:25 p.m. ET — a rematch of one of last season’s AFC Divisional Round games — along with the Steelers and Bills at 1:00 p.m. ET. Quarterback Josh Allen will look to undergo another stellar season and the journey will commence against a Pittsburgh defense that was third in total yards allowed, passing yards allowed, and points allowed last year.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.