Each NFL division’s most significant rivalry of all time

Julian Edelman, New England Patriots, New York Jets

Julian Edelman, New England Patriots, New York Jets. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Rivalries are one of the best parts of football. Here is the best and most significant rivalry in each of the NFL’s eight divisions. Embrace the hate.

When the competition is great, the passion on the field intensifies. Though rivalries are not unique to football, they have become one of the best parts of the NFL’s fabric. Every rivalry is different. Some arise out of proximity and comparable level of play. Others manifest when the stakes are the highest. Either way, rivalries are what help give this game so much meaning.

Since 2002’s realignment to include the expansion Houston Texans, all 32 NFL franchises play each of the three teams in their division twice annually, home and away. Occasionally, these teams will meet each other for a third time should they both qualify for the postseason. By winning these six divisional games, it only aids in a team’s conquest to chase Super Bowl glory.

Though every NFL division has its own history, pageantry and cultural significance, you can look at all eight subsections of the league at large and find a rivalry that speaks to us on a national scale. These rivalries go beyond the regionalism of said division because when these two division rivals meet on the gridiron, we’re all interested to see what happens both times they play each year.

Here is the best and most significant rivalry in every NFL division.

AFC East: New England Patriots vs. New York Jets

All the rivalries in the AFC East today were forged in the 1960s back in the AFL. Though it has been more of a hammer vs. nail rivalry in the last 20 years, the animus between the New England Patriots and the New York Jets is simply undeniable. With rabid Northeastern sports towns like Boston and New York at the epicenter of this, the Patriots and Jets’ rivalry defines the AFC East.

Through the 2019 NFL season, they have met on the gridiron 121 times. The Patriots hold a 67-54-1 all-time series lead over Gang Green, with a 2-1 mark over them in the postseason. Between them, they share seven Super Bowls. The Jets won their only one back in 1968 when Joe Namath guaranteed his team would beat the then-Baltimore Colts in what is now known as Super Bowl III.

While the Jets were the better franchise though their first 35 years of existence, the Patriots have been to 10 of their 11 Super Bowls under owner Robert Kraft. Since 2000, New England has hoisted six Lombardi Trophies and played for three others under head coach Bill Belichick, who served as the Jets’ defensive coordinator under Bill Parcells in the late 1990s.

Parcells coached the 1996 Patriots to the Super Bowl before leaving for the Jets. Picked to succeed Parcells, Belichick turned down the Jets’ job to lead the Patriots beginning in 2000. From Spygate to Rex Ryan to The Butt Fumble, the Jets’ rivalry with the Patriots is always a captivating one, even if New York hasn’t been a playoff-caliber team for close to a decade.

Products You May Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *