The Biggest NFL Rivalries
Amanda Campbell ranks the top five NFL rivalries in history.
Throughout the history of the NFL, there have been many incredible rivalries that have created some high-intensity games and memorable seasons.
These rivalries are not just between the teams, but between the fans as well. They can create some tense moments between Thanksgiving dinner or Sunday get-togethers.
The games between some of the larger rivalries are highly anticipated and are popular in NFL betting odds due to the diehard fans being involved.
In this article, we cover 5 of the biggest rivalries that the NFL has ever seen. Some of these have lasted decades and more. The only rule for our list is that the same team cannot appear twice. So only one rivalry per team but we tried to pick their most iconic.
5 - Indianapolis Colts Vs. New England Patriots
This rivalry technically began in 1970 when the AFL and NFL merged and they were AFC East Division rivals until 2001. During the first decade of the rivalry, the Colts dominated, taking home the overall season win per year every year for the 1970s.
Around the mid-1980s is when Patriots would begin winning in overall seasons and since then they have not stopped.
In their 83 meets (both regular and post-season) the Patriots are winning with 53 wins against the Colts’ 30.
It would not be until the early 2000s that the rivalry would start to be great. This is all thanks to the introduction of 2 players, the Colts’ Peyton Manning and the Patriots’ Tom Brady.
The Brady-Manning rivalry is one that will go down in NFL history as a battle of the greats. Both players would consistently win MVP awards and multiple Super Bowl championships.
In recent years the Patriots have been consistently winning against the Colts. In 2021 the Colts broke their losing streak against the Patriots that had been going on since 2009.
4 - Las Vegas Raiders Vs. Kansas City Chiefs
This rivalry is enhanced by the fierce dedication of both fanbases. Every time a match happens between these 2 titans, the stadium is alive with roaring fans who want to see the other team fail as much as they want to see their team win.
Their first meeting happened in 1960 in the AFL with both of them being a part of the AFL Western Conference, now they are both a part of the AFC West Division.
The Raiders dominated the 1970s and 1980s games but since then the Chiefs have been taking home the overall scores.
They have had 127 meetings with the Chiefs leading 71-54-2.
3 - Dallas Cowboys Vs. Philadelphia Eagles
What makes this rivalry so interesting is the number of contested games they have had in their 127 meetings. The Cowboys are currently in the lead 72-55.
They had their first match in 1960 in which the Eagles would have the upper hand that decade. The Cowboys would lead all the decades following the 1960s bar the 2000s.
So far they have played 16 Sunday night football games with them currently at a tie of 8-8.
2 - Pittsburgh Steelers Vs. Baltimore Ravens
The rivalry between the Steelers and the Ravens is an intense and physical one with both teams immediately going on the offensive whenever they see each other.
They have been rivals since the Ravens' inception in 1996 with both teams being members of the AFC North Division.
Both teams are fantastic in their own right with each of them winning 2 Super Bowls since their rivalry started.
They have had 56 meetings so far with the Steelers winning every decade’s overall score bar the 2010s. The Steelers are in the lead 32-24.
1 - Green Bay Packers Vs. Chicago Bears
There is no greater historic NFL rivalry than the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears. Their rivalry has lasted over a century with their first game happening in 2021. They are 2 of the oldest teams in the NFL and they prove their longevity with their impressive skills.
They are both incredible teams nowadays with both of them holding the top 2 spots for the most wins of all time. The Bears held the number one spot until 2022 when the Packers overtook them.
Ever since divisions were introduced to the NFL, the Packers and Bears have been a part of the same one, duking it out for the top spot.
The Bears dominated early in their rivalry but lately, the Packers have been in the lead. They have played a total of 206 games with the Packers winning 105-95-6.
Both teams are incredibly talented with their rivalry having the most combined members in the Pro Football Hall of Fame than any other rivalry on this list at 67. In total, they have won 5 Super Bowls, 4 of which were by the Packers.
Their rivalry has stood the test of time and we are sure it will continue to do so.
These rivalries have managed to tear friendships apart and ruin family dinners, but it shows a mutual love for the game. At the end of the day, our love of football is what draws us together.
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About the Author
Amanda Campbell is a freelance journalist.