Five NFL rivalries that make for must see TV

Throughout the NFL there are many fierce rivalries, some newly formed and some forged during the last 50 years of the league’s history.

Most of them occur in the same division, you rarely get a cross conference grudge match due to the scarcity of matches (it is usually two or three seasons between meetings).

We took a look at some of the biggest rivalries currently in the league; it is something to look out for as the season moves towards the playoffs and games within the division become more and more important.

Dallas Cowboys v Washington Redskins

These NFC East rivals have been battling it out for as long as the NFL has existed. They may not be geographically close but the hatred between the two is still very high. Having played last week in Dallas they will both meet again in the capital later on in the season. At times it has been a one sided affair with Dallas sweeping the Redskins on 16 occasions since they started playing twice a year in 1961.

Pittsburgh SteelersBaltimore Ravens

Not an old rivalry but you won’t find a more physical contest anywhere else in the NFL. The two teams pride themselves on a punishing defence and a ground and pound running game so the games are often low scoring tight affairs. Both teams have had their success over the past decade, both have one two Super Bowl titles. They meet in the 2009 AFC Championship game with Steelers coming out on top to advance to the Super Bowl and collecting their sixth NFL championship.

New England Patriots v New York Jets

A rivalry that has built and built over the last few years from Bill Belichick resigning as the head coach of the Jets after only a day to go and join the Patriots to the spygate scandal and all of the fall out from that. It is often intense and more often than not it is quite one sided in the Patriots favour. The Jets have had their successes including a win at New England in the playoffs in 2011 but it has been the Patriots with the Super Bowl success, winning three in four years in the early part of the 2000s.

Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers

Not an historic rivalry by any means, in fact it is one of the newest rivalries currently in the NFL. Both the 49ers and Seahawks have built potential Super Bowl winning teams over the last few years and being in the same division has meant that they are fighting each other for playoff places and an NFC title. Their recent meetings have been physical battles but Seattle have managed to pull out two lopsided victories.

New England Patriots v Indianapolis Colts (Brady-Manning Era)

It may not be considered a massive rivalry now that Peyton Manning has moved on to Denver but these two teams were considered for the best rivalry in the last decade. They met multiple times in the regular season but their matchups in the playoffs are remembered most.

Brady had the upper hand in the early games as he went onto win three Super Bowl titles but Manning managed to defeat the Patriots in the 2007 AFC Championship game before winning his first ring against the Chicago Bears. Whenever these two played it was must see TV.

images: © PDA.POTO, © Noah Meyerhans