Throughout the 100+ year history of the NFL, there have been countless games. Throughout these 100+ years, some teams have developed some heated rivalries against other teams. In this article, we will look at the five biggest rivalries in the NFL.
5. Seattle Seahawks vs San Francisco 49ers
The Seahawks 49ers rivalry has got to be one of the most competitive back and forth rivalries of the past decade. Since 2010 the series score is the Seahawks with 19 wins and the 49ers with 7.
Both teams have been to two Super Bowls since 2010. The Seahawks back to back in 2013 and 2014 and winning in 2013. The 49ers lost in both of their Super Bowl appearances in the 2010s in 2012 and 2019.
The pinnacle of this rivalry has to be the 2013-14 NFC Championship game. The Seahawks were hosting the 49ers for a chance to go to Super Bowl 48. The game was a wild back and forth affair by the end the Seahawks were winning 23-17. However, the 49ers were threatening in Seattle territory with just over thirty seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.
49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw a final pass into the endzone intended for wide receiver Michael Crabtree however Seahawks star cornerback Richard Sherman tipped the pass and it was intercepted by safety Malcolm Smith ending the game.
After the game, Richard Sherman taunted Michael Crabtree in an interview calling himself “The best corner in the game”. The Seahawks went on to win the Super Bowl against the Denver Broncos 43-8.
4. New Orleans Saints vs Atlanta Falcons
The Saints-Falcons rivalry is a little bit obscure but still a great rivalry. The Falcons hold the all-time series lead against the Saints 53-51. However, since 2006 the Saints hold the lead against the Falcons 21-10.
This rivalry came to a head in 2006 on Monday Night Football week 3. It was the Saint’s first real home game back in New Orleans in nearly two years. The Saints were not able to play in New Orleans in 2005 due to Hurricane Katrina. This game brought the city together again after such a tragedy and here’s why.
After a Falcons three and out early in the first quarter the Falcons were about to punt. Punter Michael Koenen’s punt was blocked by Saints player Steve Gleason and was recovered in the endzone for a Saints touchdown. The Saints went on to win that game 23-3.
The Falcons were a part of the Saint’s comeback story in 2006, even though they probably didn’t want to be.
3. New England Patriots vs New York Jets
The Patriots-Jets rivalry has been pretty one-sided lately. The Jets have not beaten the Patriots since 2015. That is the longest divisional opponent drought out of any team.
However, one thing Jets fans will have forever is that one win in the 2010-11 playoffs. The wild card 9-7 New York Jets were coming to Foxborough to face the mighty number one seed 14-2 New England Patriots. The Jets held one of the Patriot’s two losses during the regular season winning in week 2 28-14.
The Jets were coming off of a wild card win against the defending AFC champion Indianapolis Colts and were huge underdogs going into the divisional-round game against the Patriots. The Jets were able to stun the Patriots on their home turf and win 28-21. Unfortunately for the Jets, they lost in the AFC Championship to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers vs Baltimore Ravens
The Steelers-Ravens rivalry is definitely the most competitive rivalry in the AFC. It seems like every year they are the top two teams in their division, the AFC North. The Steelers and Ravens have met in the playoffs four times in 2001-02, 2008-09, 2010-11, and 2014-15.
The biggest of those four games has to be the 2008 AFC Championship. The Steelers won that game 23-14 and went on to win the Super Bowl against the Arizona Cardinals 27-23.
Returning to the rivalry, The Steelers-Ravens rivalry has to be the bloodiest rivalry in the NFL; it features heavy-hitting defensive players such as Ravens Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. On the Steeler’s side they have Troy Polamalu and James Harrison.
1. Chicago Bears vs Green Bay Packers
The Bears-Packers rivalry is not only the greatest NFL rivalry of all time, it has to be the greatest sports rivalry of all time.
While the Bears have not beaten the Packers since 2018 they have still made it competitive. The rivalry came to a head when Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers ran in for a touchdown in a week six game in Chicago in 2021 and then proceeded to yell “I still own you”.
To add insult to injury for the Bears they were beaten in their home stadium in the 2010 NFC Championship game by the Packers and they went on to win the Super Bowl.
Even though this rivalry has been one-sided lately, in the NFL world that can always change.
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