Some of the fiercest and most fascinating rivalries in the annals of sports history were birthed in the National Football League (NFL), which is one of the most popular sports in the United States. In the NFL, there is no shortage of clubs that hold a fiery hostility towards one another. These rivalries range from traditional matchups that have lasted for decades to new rivals that have emerged very recently.
In this post, we will talk about the five rivalries that have been the most iconic throughout the history of the NFL. We will investigate the history before next year’s champions, the current state, the significance of each rivalry, and why they have grown to assume such an iconic status in the sport of football. For an even more in-depth look, click here to learn the ins and outs of NFL rivals.
1. Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Football Team
Since 1960, the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Football Team have been involved in a rivalry that is widely regarded as being among the most intense and renowned in the history of competition within the NFL. Specifically, this rivalry is known as “The Greatest Rivalry in the History of Professional Football.” The battle was fueled by a number of different factors, including the proximity of the two teams to one another and the cultural differences that existed between the two groups. Both of these factors played a role in the development of the competition. Every one of these teams faced off against the other once throughout the course of the regular season, and every one of those matches was a battle that was fought with a substantial amount of fervor and intensity.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens
Even though it has only been going on for a relatively short length of time in comparison to some of the other entries on our list, the rivalry between the Steelers and the Ravens is one of the most passionate and acrimonious in the NFL. The Steelers and the Ravens have participated in some rather heated combat with one another during the course of their feud. Heavy hits, vicious tackles, and aggressive play are the norm in the two teams’ matchups since the two teams have developed a habit of playing against one another in a very aggressive and violent manner. This serves to stoke the fires of competition that already exist between the two. The Steelers and the Ravens have competed against one another in the postseason on several occasions, elevating the stakes of their rivalry against one another in the process.
3. Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears
The rivalry between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears dates back to 1921, making it one of the longest-running in the NFL. The proximity of the two teams geographically, their success in competition, and the cultural differences that exist between them all play a role in their rivalry. Fans of both the Packers and the Bears anxiously anticipate their opportunity to root for their respective teams during the two head-to-head matchups that take place during the regular season.
4. New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Since 1933, the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants have been engaged in a heated football competition against one another, making their rivalry one of the longest-running in the NFL. This rivalry has been fueled in part by their physical proximity as well as the cultural differences that exist between them. The two clubs have faced up against one another twice throughout the course of the regular season, and each of those competitions has been a tightly contested struggle between the two teams.
5. New England Patriots vs. New York Jets
One of the factors contributing to the intense nature of the battle between the New England Patriots and the New York Jets is the closeness of New England to New York City. This proximity is a factor that adds to the intensity of the competition. Since 1960, these two teams have been going head-to-head against one another on the playing field, and ever since that year, fans have looked forward to watching them compete against one another. The competition has been highlighted by a number of noteworthy occurrences throughout the course of its history, the most prominent of which being the well-known “Butt Fumble” in 2012.
There are lots of additional rivalries that could easily be added to this list, despite the fact that the ones mentioned above are undeniably some of the most famous and memorable in the history of the NFL. A prime example of this type of rivalry is the one that exists between the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys, which reached its zenith in the 1990s and saw both teams compete for NFC dominance on many occasions. Although these rivalries did not quite make the cut for our top five, they continue to contribute to the illustrious history of the NFL.
The NFL is responsible for producing some of the most heated and riveting rivalries in sports history. The Cowboys’ matchup against the Washington Football Team, the Steelers’ matchup against the Ravens, the Packers’ matchup against the Bears, the Giants’ matchup against the Eagles, and the Patriots’ matchup against the Jets are all considered to be iconic rivalries in the sport of professional American football. These rivalries have been fueled by the close radius of their locations, their success in competition, and the cultural differences between them. These rivalries have been responsible for some of the most famous moments in the history of the NFL, and they continue to capture fans’ attention to this day.