When people think “American sports” the first thing that pops to mind is the National Football League, or just American football in general. It is a sport synonymous with the country, and not just because it bears its name. American football (henceforth football) developed from rugby in the 1860s, and has since become America’s number 1, most beloved sport, watched by hundreds of millions of people around the country.
The NFL is the league responsible for football. It is the United States’ biggest sports organization, being worth over 10 billion dollars, and is a part of the four major league sports organizations (with the remaining being the MLB, the NBA and the NHL). Thirty-two of the best football teams America and Canada have to offer compete for the NFL Super Bowl.
The Super Bowl is America’s preeminent sporting event. It draws in a massive crowd of fans and punters alike. The latest Super Bowl, for example, drew in a massive amount of people, far more than expected, and many of them were betting folks. Thanks to the rise in computer science and technology, most people can now place bets from any electronic device. For more information on the best betting sites click here. The websites listed offer a wide and thorough coverage of the National Football League, as well as, American football in general.
With dozens of teams competing for over a hundred years, there are bound to be a couple of rivalries, friendly or fierce, that spawn. In this article we are going to look at which are the biggest rivalries among the NFL teams.
1. Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears
The Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears rivalry is the oldest in NFL history, dating back a century ago, to 1921. The origin of the rivalry stems from a game in which the Bears (then the Staleys), dominated the Packers, ending with a score of 20 – 0. However, it isn’t the loss which stuck in the Packers’ craw, but rather the way one of their players was treated. A Packers player named Howard Buck was attacked, and had his nose broken by an opposing player. This was the origin point of one of the most bitter rivalries in football history.
The Green Bay Packers are the third oldest franchise in the history of the National Football League. They are the last of the once-common small-town teams, and the only team in the NFL which is community-owned and non-profit. Their track-record speaks for itself, as they have won 13 league championships, a score uncontested by any other team. While their rivalry with the Bears is the fiercest, they have also made enemies out of the Minnesota Vikings.
The Chicago Bears answer their rivals in turn, with a couple of records of their own. While the Packers may have the most league trophies, the Bears have the highest record of wins, as well as, the highest amount of players that have been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
For a long time, the Chicago Bears were on top of the rivalry, leading by 24 games. However, in 2017 the Green Bay Packers overtook their long-time rivals. The teams have faced-off against each other in the playoffs on two different occasions, each of them having one a game. Their rivalry is still alive and well today. In Dec, 2023, according to ESPN the two teams faced off against each other, with the Packers winning, with a score of 30 – 45.
2. New York Jets vs New England Patriots
The Jets vs. Patriots rivalry is not as balanced as the Bears-Packers, and definitely not as bitter. It first began in the 1960, when the Patriots were, indisputably the superior team. However, for nine years between the mid-60s and mid-70s, the Jets were a domineering force in football, defeating their rivals in 17 games out of 20 played.
This winning streak would not last long for the Jets, however. For the ten some years between the late seventies and early nineties, the Jets – Patriots rivalry had no clear winner. That all changed in 1993, when Robert Kraft took over the New England Patriots. Since then, the Patriots have led the rivalry with a score of 38 – 18 games won. For more details on Robert Kraft, and his history with the Patriots, check this page.
In recent years, the rivalry has been rather one-sided, with the Patriots coming out on top more often than not. However, the Jets still manage to score some impressive victories.
Apart from on-field rivalry, the Jets vs. Patriots rivalry spawned one of the biggest controversies in 21st century NFL. In 2007, the Patriots were caught videotaping Jet coaches signals to their players, and were disciplined by the league.
3. Denver Broncos vs Los Angeles Chargers
Once upon a time, the Los Angeles Charges were the undisputed rulers of the American Football League. They were known as among the greatest AFL teams in the scene, and even won the title in the early 60s. This all changed when the American Football League merged with the National Football League.
With this merger, the Denver Broncos began gaining traction, which reached its peak in the 70s. A standout moment during this era was their ’77 campaign, in which they won 11 out of the 12 games on their way to their first ever Super Bowl. Their luck would not last, however, and in the early 80s, the Charges, armed with some of their greatest players, devastated the Broncos, leaving them in the dust.
But, this too would not last. For over 20 years, between the ages of 1983 and 2006, the Broncos absolutely dominated their rivals. With 20+ wins under their belt, the Broncos have been enjoying great success over their long-standing rivals.
The Chargers managed to flip the table one more time, between 2006 – 2011, when they won nine out of eleven victories against the Broncos. And, like before, the Broncos came back harder than ever, when in 2012, Peyton Manning joined their team.
Today, the statistics and history definitely favor the Broncos. Out of 124 meetings, the Broncos have won 70. In their last meeting, on Nov 28, 2023, the Broncos defeated the Chargers with a score of 28 – 13.