We ranked the 5 best NFL rivalries because with the new season just around the corner it is time for you to mentally gear up and stock up on food. This list goes as far back as recorded NFL history, so even though there are some budding rivalries due to team relocations, these 5 are still remembered by fans young and old. There is a recent rivalry that gets an Honorable Mention because most fans of football will definitely takes sides with one team or another, regardless of your hometown favorite. It will likely become a talking point over the next 5 years.
5. Oakland Raiders vs Pittsburgh Steelers
Some of the most smash-mouth games were played between these two teams over the years, but the reason it is at the bottom of the list is because they only play each other once every 4 years. All the other rivalries that made the list play within their own division. The last time they met in 2015 the Steelers won, featuring Roethlisberger at QB and DeAngelo Williams at RB. Oakland had Derek Carr at QB and Michael Crabtree at WR. The final score was 38-35. But this rivalry may change big time unless the Steelers find a solid successor to Roethlisberger in the next few years.
4. Green Bay Packers vs Chicago Bears
This is the oldest rivalry in terms of time, but with the Packers fielding Rodgers the value of this rivalry has been diluted in recent years. The truth is, the Bears are simply awful in picking franchise QBs. McMahon was the last QB to make any consistent impact, but he was injured so often the Bears were able to make it to the Super Bowl using Steve Fuller. Trubisky once again is said to be the answer for the Bears, but their only current hope is to wait until Rodgers retires.
3. Dallas Cowboys vs Washington Redskins
Another rivalry that has suffered from the decline in talent for both teams. With consistent but hardly exciting Alex Smith taking the reins at QB, Washington continues to make questionable decisions at the position. First they paid RG3 too much, then weren’t willing to pay Cousins enough. On the Dallas side, Prescott’s mojo seems to have faded after his rookie season as defensive coordinators do what they do best in the off season – find QB tendencies to exploit. But it continues to be one of the most watched rivalries by the national audience.
2. Philadelphia Eagles vs New York Giants
The Eagles are soaring and the Giants are reloading, so this earns the #2 ranking because this could have some seriously physical games headed our way. Eli Manning may be seeing his last year or two in the league, but he is still dangerous and effective. For the Eagles, all we have to say is Carson Wentz. What the x-factor will be how he shows up after the season ending injury. Both defenses will be solid, an added bonus for fans.
1. Pittsburgh Steelers vs Baltimore Ravens
If you were thinking that the Pittsburgh-Cincinnati rivalry would make the top of this list, we are with you. But that rivalry has intensified only over the last 5 years or so. With the Cleveland Browns only being eligible for the Toilet Bowl every year, the AFC North is a 3 team divisional race now. But the truth is, Pittsburgh and the Ravens really hate each other. That word “hate” is really important in making this the number one rivalry. In recent years these two teams have fielded some of the best across the board talent in the NFL, which makes not only for an intense rivalry, but one that has great play on both sides of the ball from both teams.
It’s important to remember this list is about historical rivalries because it has been pointed out that in the last decade it has been the New England Patriots against the World. Every fan with any team pride wants to see the Patriots get crushed – physically and on the scoreboard. This rivalry crosses divisions and conferences. Maybe just for 1 year before Brady retires the league could create a 4 team division with teams east of the Mississippi River: New England, Philadelphia, Green Bay, and Atlanta. May the best QB win.