17. New York Jets – New England Patriots
The New York Jets and New England Patriots have played each other over 100 times dating back to the 1960s, but in 2000, an event would occur that amped up the rivalry to levels that it had never seen before.
At this time, longtime Jets head coach Bill Parcells had stepped down from his post at the helm of the time, and was prepared to name assistant coach Bill Belichick as his successor.
The team called a press conference to announce its new head coach, but Belichick, influenced by uncertainty in team ownership, had other plans.
Instead of having the event serve as Belichick’s introductory press conference, however, team president Steve Gutman and Parcells were left standing in disbelief as the former assistant handed the president a brief note explaining his departure on the way to the podium. Rather than an introductory press conference, it turned into one of a resignation.
"Belichick handed Gutman a loose-leaf sheet of paper containing three handwritten sentences. The first line read, “Due to the various uncertainties surrounding my position as it relates to the team’s new ownership, I have decided to resign as the HC of the NYJ.”"
The resignation occurred before Belichick coached his first game as head coach of the Jets.
Understandably, this added fuel to the fire in the longstanding rivalry. Since this decisive day in the history of both franchises, Belichick has gone on to build a dynasty in New England, while the Jets are still in search of their first Super Bowl title since 1968.
New York led the series fairly recently, but have relinquished the lead after losing seven of the eight contests since their 2011 postseason victory over their AFC East rival. The Patriots currently hold the all-time series lead with a record of 58-53-1.
Next: 16. Dallas Cowboys - Washington Redskins