While some football rivalries have stood the test of time, the new decade ushered in several more exciting opponents for the New York Jets.
Here's a look at the New York Jets' top five best current rivalries:
1) Miami Dolphins: Rex Ryan added fuel to the fiery rivalry between the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets by flipping a middle finger at Miami football fans during a mixed martial arts event in South Florida in Feb. of 2010.
As much as I want to give the New England Patriots the No. 1 spot on this list, I believe a rivalry can only be great if it features two evenly matched teams.
I hate to admit it, but the Patriots will likely play at a superior level to the Dolphins and Jets as long as Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are running the show in New England. That leaves the Dolphins and Jets as the two teams who will be fighting for the second-place spot in the division for the years ahead.
2) New England Patriots: Rex Ryan was fined $75k for cursing at a New England Patriots fan during halftime of a Jets loss in Nov. of 2011, in an incident that punctuated the recent rivalry between the Jets and Patriots.
In recent years, this matchup has been all about the Patriots' explosive offense against the Jets' stingy defense. The Jets lost twice to the Patriots in 2011, one year after upsetting them in the 2010 divisional playoff round.
3) New York Giants: Whenever you share a stadium with a team, a fierce rivalry is bound to happen. Not only do the Jets and Giants share MetLife Stadium, they are also constantly battling for the cover of sports sections in New York area newspapers.
The Giants won two Super Bowls in the past five years, and the Jets haven't done much besides making odd business decisions like signing Tim Tebow to backup Mark Sanchez. The Jets were outclassed by the Giants on Dec. 24, 2011, after a week of buildup that included plenty of trash-talking from both sides.
Rex Ryan got the hype machine rolling by saying the Jets were better than the Giants in a nypost.com report. "I recognize that they're an excellent football team, but I think we're better," Ryan said on a conference call. "I never came here to be little brother to anyone. So, it's on."
4) Baltimore Ravens: Baltimore gets the No. 4 spot on this list because they are a spitting image of the Jets in many ways.
Much like the Jets, the Ravens hope to beat you with a ground-and-pound attack and stifling defense. The end result is usually low-scoring affairs that feature brutal sacks and hard-hitting tackles from both sides. Since 2007, the Ravens have won three straight against the Jets.
5) Buffalo Bills: The Jets topped the Bills twice last season, but it could be a much different year for Buffalo now that they have Mario Williams patrolling their defense. I fully expect the two-time Pro Bowler to set the tone of the season early for Buffalo by delivering several crushing blows to Mark Sanchez in the season opener on Sept. 9.
Which team is the New York Jets' top rival? Let me know in the comments.
Eric Holden is a lifelong New York Jets fan. Follow him on Twitter @ericholden.
http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/nyj/, Pro Football Reference, New York Jets stats
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