NFL's Most Underrated Rivalries

Matt Stein@MatthewJSteinCorrespondent IIApril 13, 2012

NFL's Most Underrated Rivalries

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    There simply isn't anything greater than rivalries in the NFL.

    The Green Bay Packers vs. the Chicago Bears. The New York Giants vs. the Philadelphia Eagles. Rivalries bring an entirely different aspect to games than when the Indianapolis Colts play the Minnesota Vikings.

    There's hatred and history, and when rivals step on the field, pitted against one another, there isn't anything better.

    Today, instead of looking at the most well-known rivalries in the NFL, we'll look at the most underrated ones.

    These are matchups that don't seem to get the credit they deserve, even though they always produce fantastic games.

Green Bay Packers vs. New York Giants

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    Thanks to a Week 16 game during the 2010 season, a Week 13 game during the 2011 season and a divisional round playoff game in the 2011 postseason, the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers have become quite the rivals over the past two seasons.

    Each of these three games was an extremely hard-fought battle with serious implications.

    The 2010 victory by Green Bay kept the Packers' playoff hopes alive while ruining the Giants'. The Week 13 regular-season game was an instant classic that kept the Packers' 16-0 dreams in the running.

    And of course, who could forget about the Giants going into Lambeau Field and beating the Packers on their way to winning the Super Bowl?

    These two teams always seem to play one another when everything is on the line. This rivalry is just starting, and it will only get better.

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens

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    For years, the Baltimore Ravens have been the juggernaut, while the Cincinnati Bengals have been the cellar-dweller.

    That all changed in 2011 when Andy Dalton, A.J. Green and a young defense brought the Bengals back to prominence.

    Now, when these two teams meet, it isn't David vs. Goliath. It's becoming an intense rivalry where the results of the two annual matchups will have major implications in the race to win the AFC North.

    Both teams are playoff contenders, and whether they meet in Cincinnati or Baltimore, it's guaranteed to be quite the intense battle. They both love to pound the ball on the ground, down the other team's throat, and that always brings entertaining football.

    While the Ravens are getting older, the Bengals are getting younger.

    However, both teams remain strong, and their rivalry should continue to build in the near future with two games against one another each year.

Denver Broncos vs. New York Giants

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    The only reason that this is an underrated rivalry is because it hasn't taken place yet.

    However, if and when Peyton Manning and Eli Manning get on the field, it's going to be quite the game.

    Now that Eli has more Super Bowl rings than Peyton, the sibling rivalry has reached epic proportions. 

    While these two teams won't play in the 2012 season, the wait will only make the speculation regarding this future rivalry all the more intense.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Houston Texans

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    This rivalry pits a big brother (Dallas Cowboys) against its little brother (Houston Texans).

    With everything being bigger in Texas, it is only a matter of time before this rivalry is no longer considered underrated.

    This rivalry was consistently overlooked due to the Cowboys always being leaps and bounds ahead of Houston in the talent department, considering that the Texans have just recently become a quality team,

    Well, 2011 proved that is no longer the case, with Houston making the playoffs while Dallas sat at home.

    These two teams only meet once every few years, but when they do, the entire state of Texas goes ballistic.

Detroit Lions vs. Green Bay Packers

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    While the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears certainly all have storied rivalries, no one seems to make rivalries with the other NFC North team, the Detroit Lions.

    This is probably due to the fact that the Lions have been the worst team in the division since Noah stepped off the ark, but that is no longer the case.

    The 2011 season for Detroit was a monster step forward for the franchise.

    What makes this rivalry such a great one is the offensive fireworks. In their Week 17 matchup last season, the teams combined for 86 points.

    With superstars like Aaron Rodgers, Calvin Johnson, Matthew Stafford and Greg Jennings, it's easy to see these offensive slugfests continuing for the foreseeable future.

    The wonderful thing about this underrated rivalry is that it is just getting started.