The most underappreciated rivalry in each NFL division

New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins
Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Sometimes, even great rivalries are stuck in the shadow of another in near proximity. Here is the most underrated rivalry in each NFL division.

With four teams playing among each other twice annually, divisional rivalries are bound to manifest. Since 2002’s realignment, the NFL has broken its 32 teams into two conference and four directionally-named divisions in each conference. Thus, we have eight, four-team divisions to follow: the North, South, East and West in both the AFC and the NFC.

While every four-team division has its signature rivalry, there are a few others in each division that are pretty spectacular in their own right. At any given time, any of the six division rivalries could be at the forefront. What it comes down to is both rival teams playing at a high level on a big stage. You know what they always say, iron sharpens iron.

Though it doesn’t take very long to figure out what rivalry is the best each division has to offer, what about the other quality ones that are just bubbling under the surface. There are some sneaky-good rivalries we get to see twice annually every fall. Sometimes, these divisional foes meet for a third time for all the marbles in the postseason.

Here is the most underrated/underappreciated rivalry each NFL division has to offer.

AFC East: Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins

Though the New England Patriots vs. the New York Jets rivalry takes the cake in the AFC East, the two other teams in the division have developed quite the rivalry in their own right. Of course, we’re talking about the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins. These teams are polar opposites and have helped make the AFC East as interesting of a division as it is.

The Bills and Dolphins first played back in 1966 when the Dolphins were an expansion team in the AFL. Through the 2019 NFL season, they have met on the gridiron 112 times. Miami holds the edge in the rivalry series at 61-50-1 all time. However, Buffalo has defeated the Dolphins in three of their postseason meetings to date.

Despite being polar opposites in geography and climate, they have more in common than you’d think. Both franchises have iconic head coaches, quarterbacks and running backs enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Buffalo has men the like of Jim Kelly, O.J. Simpson, Thurman Thomas and Marv Levy. Miami has the likes of Dan Marino, Bob Griese, Larry Csonka and Don Shula.

Combined, these two rival teams have been to nine Super Bowls and won 21 AFC East division titles. Though Miami has the only two Super Bowl trophies between the two, Buffalo holds the distinction of going to four in a row out of the AFC and losing them all in the early 1990s. With the Patriots seemingly on the decline, who takes advantage to become prominent in the 2020s?