Best NFL Rivalries That Are Still Relevant

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Oct 20, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; The Baltimore Ravens offense lines up against the Pittsburgh Steelers defense during the third quarter at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 19-16. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Rivalry games in the NFL are something special. To take two teams, cities, and fan-bases that just generally don’t like each other and pit them against each other in the format of a football game is just beautiful. One side gets the instant bragging rights and validation up until the next matchup and the other side gets to patiently wait for revenge.

It’s hard to maintain rivalries in today’s NFL with free agency, coaching changes, etc.; the teams’ might not like each other but the rivalry really isn’t relevant unless something is on the line when the game is played. To be still relevant the rivalry has to have some edge to give it national attention, and not just be a historical rival only the die-hard fans truly appreciate.

Here are some of the best rivalries left in the NFL that are still relevant, in no particular order.

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Tags: Atlanta Falcons Baltimore Ravens Bill Belichick Chicago Bears Dallas Cowboys Green Bay Packers Jim Harbaugh New England Patriots New Orleans Saints New York Jets NFL Pete Carroll Pittsburgh Steelers Rex Ryan San Francisco 49ers Seattle Seahawks Washington Redskins

  • SmartThinking

    By their very nature, rivalries are created over years, not a few seasons. Two of the three so-called rivalries this story’s writer calls a rivalry, are only a few seasons in the making. Nothing compares to the Packers v. The Bears, or, the Cowboys v. Either the Redskins and/or the Eagles and/or the 49ers, and/ or the Giants to a lesser degree. Why? Because they’re decades in the making. When people get together and the stories start getting told, how many of them include,”Remember when the 49ers played the Seahawks?” No. Of course not. It’s “Do you remember Michael being carried off the field at the Eagles game?” Or, “Do you remember Riggins Play-off run through the Dallas secondary,” or, “Do you remember how many times the Cowboys beat all these teams with class and finesse just by out-thinking them?” Those, Mr. Writer, are genuine, bonafide rivalries! Keep your Seahawks-Niners and Saints-Falcons games. Maybe in a decade or two, if they’re still at one another, they’ll measure up to what a real rivalry is, and ought to be.

    • skeletony

      Listen he-who-has-chosen-an ironic handle, The Hawks and 49ers have been division rivals for over a decade and I don’t think the title of this article is “Longest running rivalries in history”. I know…I know, everyone outside of Washington state hates the Seahawks because they are not located anywhere near Texas, California, New York or Florida. And these same haters hate that the Hawks are favored over all but a few teams to win the Super Bowl this year and have gotten a lot of positive attention while your suck-ass Cowboys, Giants, Redskins, etc. are laughed at when not ignored altogether. Change sucks and all but could you do me a favor and get the fuck over it? This article is about RELEVANT rivalries. No one cares about the Giants, the Cowboys, the Eagles or the Redskins.

  • DidusayJenn

    I think I’m gonna try and do a count on how many times you’ve worked in the phrase “butt fumble”! Classic :)

  • Wisdom Speaks

    I think Kimmy and the sports world in
    general is doing a disservice to actual RIVALRIES by proclaiming and confusing
    recent or current CLASHES among teams as a RIVALRY. There is a level of
    ascendancy and time period that’s needs to take place before people begin
    labeling “this one is Rivalry” and “that one is a Rivalry.” First comes a
    competitive Classic Encounter or total Domination by one team that leaves the
    loser with a redemptive mindset the next time the two teams meet regardless of
    the significance of the game. Domination by one team will always lead the
    opposition into state of Redemption and Envy, and Envy will lead itself to Covetousness
    to be like the opposition. Over time, the desire to even the score or settle
    the dispute over who’s the Alfa Team leads to Tension among former common
    opponents into an Antagonistic encounter whenever the teams meet. These
    Antagonistic Encounters for Supremacy eventually begins developing into Classic
    Clashes that over a period of time will establish itself as a full blown
    RIVALRY. CLIP AND SAVE.

    • skeletony

      You actually went to the effort of creating multiple accounts to post this ignorant nonsense?!

      • Wisdom Speaks

        Obviously this was a little to sophisticated for you. Some things are just above some people heads. You are more likely to understand things with grunts and groans in them like “POW”, “Whoosh”, “Blam” “Grrrrrrrrrr.” Stick to the comic book fella, don’t trust yourself into grown peoples conversation.