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Top 5 NFL rivalries
A real NFL rivalry is a match-up that garners the attention of football fans emotionally attached to the rivalry as well as those that otherwise wouldn't watch the two teams involved. These rivalries are full of memorable moments and hard-hitting contests that involve two rosters that genuinely hate each other. The five NFL rivalries listed below are not the greatest all-time or current rivalries. They are simply the favorite match-ups of a football fan that enjoys cheering for the New York Giants and wallows in the fact that he has family ties to Cleveland sports teams.
Note: The NFL rivalries listed below are not listed in any particular order
The glory days of the Browns-Steelers rivalry, one that began in 1950, ended once the Browns moved to Baltimore in the mid-90s. There have been a few significant moments in the past decade, though, including the historic 2003 AFC Divisional Playoff match-up and the 2009 game in which the Browns ended Pittsburgh's hope of another Super Bowl run. The Browns are seemingly getting more respectable, which will hopefully lead to a resurgence in what was once arguably the greatest rivalry in the NFL.
The Colts and Patriots have been going at it since 1970, but this rivalry became the league's most entertaining during the 2000s due to quarterbacks Tom Brady(notes) and Peyton Manning(notes). Brady's Patriots have knocked Manning's Colts out of the playoffs twice, with Manning getting a little revenge in the 2007 AFC Championship Game en route to winning his first Super Bowl. The Brady vs. Manning rivalry will continue for at least a few more years, hopefully while both QBs are with their original teams.
Top NFL rivalries #3: New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles
An NFL rivalry that goes beyond two football teams, as New York fans hate practically anything involving Philadelphia and vice versa. The Giants and Eagles have been facing off since 1933, creating a rivalry throughout the years that has seen numerous memorable moments throughout the years, including The Miracle at the Meadowlands and Lawrence Taylor absolutely terrorizing Philly quarterbacks throughout the 80s. One thing you can guarantee about this rivalry is that it isn't going to end anytime soon.
Beginning in 1921, Bears vs. Packers is the longest running rivalry in NFL history. As of the writing of this piece, over 50 current/will-be Hall of Famers have taken part in this heated rivalry. When these two teams are both playoff contenders, it's a practically a guarantee that a match-up between the two will be the hardest hitting, most "old school" football game of the week, one that a fan in New York or Oakland could enjoy. Brett Favre(notes) owned the Bears in Chicago throughout the 90s, but it's the Bears that currently lead the all-time series 92-82-6. Amazingly, these two divisional rivals have only met in the playoffs once; the Bears defeated the Packers in that 1941 showdown 33-14.
I've always enjoyed the Dallas vs. Washington rivalry, often called the best in NFL, mostly because it involves two teams I hate beating the crap out of each other. The Cowboys and Redskins have met in dozens of memorable, season-deciding contests, but my favorite moments come from off-the-field incidents, such as Darrell Armstrong's "How 'bout them Redskins!" exclamation and Tom Landry's American Express commercial. A ten-minute video dedicated to this NFL rivalry can be found here.
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