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Old 05-17-2009, 10:57 AM   #1
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Default NFL's Top Rivalries

What makes a great NFL rivalry? Familiarity, intensity, passion and good old-fashioned hatred are all key elements. The payoff, however, comes in the two teams involved combining to play consistently great football.

Tradition plays a big part, but over the years new rivalries evolve while old ones dissolve. Classics such as Bears-Packers and Cowboys-Redskins now have a different feel. Others, such as Chiefs-Raiders, 49ers-Rams and Bengals-Browns, recently have lacked luster because neither team has performed at a high level.


Here, then, are the top 10 NFL rivalries going into the 2009 season, based on competitiveness and compelling storylines:

1. Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
In retirement, John Madden didn't leave us with enough onomatopoeia to describe all the hard-hitting, head-snapping, clock-cleaning and slobber-knocking that happens when Baltimore and Pittsburgh trade blows. The NFL's most visceral rivalry isn't for the faint of heart, stomach, mind or body. This is physical football at its best.

The defenses fly around smacking everything, but the offenses also have enough tough personalities to stand up and fight for every extra yard. Two players who come to mind immediately are Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis and Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward.

The teams clearly are the class of the AFC North, and playing each other three times a season might become a habit.


2. Indianapolis Colts vs. New England Patriots
This has become the NFL's most anticipated matchup. The window for both teams to win another Super Bowl with their current core groups is closing -- maybe more so for Indianapolis -- which should add desperation to the usual intensity of this game.

It also helps that Tom Brady will be back to duel with Peyton Manning, and the '09 game will be in the controlled environment of Lucas Oil Stadium. The best games in the series tend to be played at Indy. This year's big twist is Jim Caldwell taking over as coach Bill Belichick's counterpart.

Don't plan anything for Nov. 15, because this year's prime-time game follows Packers-Cowboys.



3. NFC East vs. NFC East
Again, just naming Dallas-Washington from this division would be unfair. All six round-robin rivalries involving the Cowboys, Eagles, Giants and Redskins have been awesome of late as the NFC East features the league's most competitive quartet.

It's not just the unpredictable games that seem to turn on one or two plays, it's also four high-profile ownerships that wage their war with aggressive signings, drafts and trades. These owners have deep pockets and are passionate about winning. Each franchise also has huge fan bases and high-profile players and coaches.

It all makes for compelling competition, good enough to get the best time-slot treatment from Fox and NBC.



4. New York Jets vs. New England Patriots
This will be considerably different without the potential for Belichick sharing a cold handshake with Eric Mangini, but it's still good as the NFL's milder version of Yankees-Red Sox.

New England has been New York's nemesis the whole decade. The last time the Jets had a legitimate Super Bowl contender was '98; the Patriots have pretty much been Super Bowl-caliber since '01.

Under new coach Rex Ryan, the Jets are trying to build their defense in a Mangini-style, versatile 3-4 form, and several players have lined up for both teams over the years. Even though the Jets hate losing to the Patriots, their best strategy has been to copy New England's winning blueprint.



5. Denver Broncos vs. San Diego Chargers
We're going with Denver-San Diego as the AFC West's rivalry representative, because the Raiders have been so bad in recent years. The Broncos and Chargers have produced meetings filled with comebacks and controversy. It's too bad, though, that Mike Shanahan is gone from the Broncos' sideline, and that Phillis Rivers no longer can bark at Jay Cutler.

The Broncos have been able to slow down LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates. And don't forget the convenient contrast in climates. To quote Frank Cushman in Jerry Maguire: "Hell, I'd either surf or ski -- I don't care."




6. Green Bay Packers vs. NFC North
The Bears remain as hated as ever, and Cutler only adds to the hatred. The Vikings are stirring the pot again with the Brett Favre talk. And the Lions keep inviting Green Bay to their Thanksgiving bash, hoping for a happier feast. You think Chicago first as the Packers' archrival, but really, it has expanded to everyone in the division.

There's something about the humble hamlet and its storied football history in a fight against three Midwest metropolises. Of course, most of Wisconsin loves the Pack, and it helps that the state is nestled around Illinois and Minnesota and just an extended right arm away from Michigan.



7. New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins
Even before Bill Parcells took over, Miami caused the class of the NFL problems. For some reason, the Dolphins' defense could get the better of Tom Brady. Then Parcells and coach Tony Sparano rekindled the flames last season with the "Wildcat" fires. It will be interesting to see how fun this one gets with Brady's return and the Dolphins' addition of Pat White.



8. Indianapolis Colts vs. Tennessee Titans
This one also had a good comeback last season. After a few down years for Tennessee, it appeared as though Jacksonville had taken its place as Indianapolis' chief AFC South rival. Then Jeff Fisher's team snatched the division crown away. Really, this rivalry started when the division was formed seven years ago, with the Volunteers' favorite son Peyton Manning taking on a team from Nashville. It then hit an early peak when Manning and Steve McNair were named league co-MVPs in 2003. Expect a great series in '09.



9. Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers
Although it had a little more oomph when Julius Peppers and Carolina's defense were trying to chase down Michael Vick, it's still pretty good. Both teams have returned to the top of the standings. They don't get much attention from the national media, and the rivalry is overshadowed regionally by ACC and SEC football. Still, there have been good battles. In the revolving-door NFC South, these two will fight hard to stay 1-2 over New Orleans and Tampa Bay next season.



10. Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys
It's good to see this classic coming back strong. Of course, this always will be remembered as the Ice Bowl matchup, but there also was Brett Favre and Troy Aikman in the early to mid-'90s. It was a huge hit on the NFL Network two years ago, when we saw Aaron Rodgers step into his first duel with Tony Romo. This year's game is at Lambeau, as the lead-in to Pats-Colts.



http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn...c.php?t=549544
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Old 05-17-2009, 11:23 AM   #2
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Freakin Chargers?

I still hate the Raiders and Chiefs more.
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Old 05-17-2009, 11:28 AM   #3
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Sadly there is now no rivalry between the Chiefs and the Broncos.

The Raiders and the Chiefs are running on old-time fumes.
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Old 05-17-2009, 11:43 AM   #4
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How is the Chargers and Broncos a rivalry? SD has won every time except once being the game that was stolen from the Chargers by Ed Hochuli
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Old 05-17-2009, 11:49 AM   #5
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The rivalry is about the animosity between SD and the Broncos. As the two teams most consistently competing for the top of the division recently there is more of a rivalry right now between them since niether KC or Oakland has provided much competition in recent years. The AFC West used to have some serious rivalry between all four (possibly KC and Denver having one of the most rabid due to proximity for one thing). And everyone in the division hates the Raiders so that one's just a given.
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Old 05-17-2009, 12:20 PM   #6
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herm vs the kc fans was pretty sweet.
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Old 05-17-2009, 12:30 PM   #7
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herm vs the kc fans was pretty sweet.
Hope you enjoyed it cause this season it's gonna be McDip**** against Bronco fans.
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Old 05-17-2009, 12:32 PM   #8
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Hope you enjoyed it cause this season it's gonna be McDip**** against Bronco fans.
Real funny when a KC fan tries to talk smack.
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Old 05-17-2009, 12:34 PM   #9
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Hope you enjoyed it cause this season it's gonna be McDip**** against Bronco fans.

Okkkkkk dude.
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Old 05-17-2009, 12:40 PM   #10
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Hope you enjoyed it cause this season it's gonna be McDip**** against Bronco fans.


Might I suggest winning more than TWO GAMES before talking smack.










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Old 05-17-2009, 12:42 PM   #11
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Might I suggest winning more than TWO GAMES before talking smack.











KC fans don't roll that way they kinda prefer to bark out wild accusations wait for them to be proved wrong then look like a fool ( rinse and repeat)
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Old 05-17-2009, 12:43 PM   #12
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Might I suggest winning more than TWO GAMES before talking smack.










Maybe I should blow a division lead in the last month of the season? Will that make you feel better?
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Old 05-17-2009, 12:44 PM   #13
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Maybe I should blow a division lead in the last month of the season? Will that make you feel better?

Being that the DETROIT LIONS have won more games than KC has the last two seasons......I doubt it...











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Old 05-17-2009, 12:50 PM   #14
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Being that the DETROIT LIONS have won more games than KC has the last two seasons......I doubt it...











Yes and the Broncos have done so much in those 2 years. Playoff games and playoff wins....wait?

Bottomline is that the Broncos are sitting on the couch with the Chiefs when the season ended.
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Old 05-17-2009, 01:36 PM   #15
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Yes and the Broncos have done so much in those 2 years. Playoff games and playoff wins....wait?

Bottomline is that the Broncos are sitting on the couch with the Chiefs when the season ended.


The bottomline is the chefs haven't even sniffed a Lombardi in FOUR DECADES.





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Old 05-17-2009, 04:43 PM   #16
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I'm a Broncos fan but I live in Pa and I have to tell you guys that the biggest rivalry is Philly and Dallas
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Old 05-17-2009, 09:52 PM   #17
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AFCW sure ain't what it used to be... I would like to think the Broncos and the Chargers are a great rivalry but it's really not been very close the last few years. Now that Jay is gone, I'd love to see the Broncos beat SD the old fashion way, with solid defense and a great running game.
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Old 05-17-2009, 10:34 PM   #18
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AFCW sure ain't what it used to be... I would like to think the Broncos and the Chargers are a great rivalry but it's really not been very close the last few years. Now that Jay is gone, I'd love to see the Broncos beat SD the old fashion way, with solid defense and a great running game.
I think we might in the next year or so....Prob. not this year unfortunetly.
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Old 05-17-2009, 10:45 PM   #19
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The Broncos have been able to slow down LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates.

That is a laughable statement. Yeah we only put up 90 on you last last year. They have slowed them down if you call 39.5 points a game average over the last 3 years as being slowed down.
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Old 05-18-2009, 12:07 AM   #20
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Silly ... the guy obviosuly doesn't understand the AFC West.

The Raiders rivalry will lose some steam with Mike gone, but Broncos-chefs is still a top-notch rivalry.
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Old 05-18-2009, 06:39 AM   #21
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Silly ... the guy obviosuly doesn't understand the AFC West.

The Raiders rivalry will lose some steam with Mike gone, but Broncos-chefs is still a top-notch rivalry.
Something needs to happen for it to regain its luster. It's dead right now.
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Old 05-18-2009, 09:29 AM   #22
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Something needs to happen for it to regain its luster. It's dead right now.

Something like kc winning more than two games?











just sayin'
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Old 05-18-2009, 09:30 AM   #23
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The Raiders rivalry will lose some steam with Mike gone...
In the 30+ years that I've been an active fan, I don't recall the Bronco/Raider rivalry ever being a cool one, with or without Mike. It has nothing to do with Mike. Mike's spat with Al certainly added another dimension but I recall --when living in the Bay Area-- how much these two teams hated each other. Back in the late 80s I remember seeing one dumbass in SF walking down the street with a black t-shirt with "**** DENVER" printed across the front in silver lettering.

Denver vs Oakland will always be an intense rivalry. The only steam that may have been lost is because the Raiders suck so badly that it's hard not to feel sorry for them. KC has put up a better fight which has fueled a new intensity to that rivalry. But as of late SD has been the #1 contender. But it's hard not just to laugh at them when thinking of them as a "rival." I mean, it's San Diego!
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Old 05-18-2009, 09:36 AM   #24
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the top rivalry for the Broncos is Shanny vs. Mc****face.
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Old 05-18-2009, 11:23 AM   #25
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Quote:
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The Broncos have been able to slow down LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates.

That is a laughable statement. Yeah we only put up 90 on you last last year. They have slowed them down if you call 39.5 points a game average over the last 3 years as being slowed down.
I think you misunderstood LT and Gates for thet San Diego Offense. Traditionally, LT has had bad games against the Broncos.
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