Power Ranking the 25 Most Heated NFL Rivalries Heading into 2012

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Power Ranking the 25 Most Heated NFL Rivalries Heading into 2012
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
James Harrison gave Colt McCoy a concussion with this hit.

When you think about NFL rivalries, you consider the teams that play against each other in the same division, or typically are located in the same geographical region. Sometimes, they play in the same city or are located in the same state.

Some rivalries are very bitter by nature, while others are more friendly and based out of respect for a fellow competitor. As such, we will be presenting both kinds of rivalries in this presentation.

Bleacher Report has written a number of articles about NFL rivalries from a historical perspective, but this version is intended to be somewhat different. Yes, we will include some of the legendary team rivalries that are especially intense, but we are also seeking to identify rivalries that are especially unique or should be grabbing headlines in the 2012 season.

These rivalries could be one player versus another, one coach against another, a team against a coach or any combination of the above. There could be a few Roger Goodell slides as well, as his list of rivals continues to grow.

Therefore, some of your traditional rivalries like Oakland Raiders versus San Diego Chargers and the Minnesota Vikings versus the Green Bay Packers won't be on here. Just wanted to clear that up first, before all the comments start rolling in, such as where is my team rivalry with...you get the picture, right?

So, here are the 25 best rivalries for the 2012 season, ranked according to which ones I think will offer up the best scenarios for viewing an intense battle this season.

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