Top 3 Budding Rivalries in NFL
Every sport has rivalries and the NFL is no different. There are teams that have been rivals for decades and teams that have been rivals for only a few years. But which teams are going to be rivals over the next decade or so?
That's a question that I set out to answer. I came up with six teams—three matchups—that project to either start a rivalry or bring it to a new level. All three of the machups are divisional battles, which is a key factor in any rivalry.
A battle within the division means the teams will meet twice a year and it is much more likely bad blood will remain between the teams.
Without further ado, here are three budding rivalries in the NFL.
Green Bay Packers-Detroit Lions
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The Packers are the best team in the NFL without question right now. The Lions are an upcoming team that is hoping to break through this season and make the playoffs.
Neither of these two teams particularly like each other and that isn't likely to change any time soon. Detroit may not be on the Packers' level this season, but that could change in the years to come. Eventually the gap between the Lions and Pack will be closed and football fans will get to witness one of the best rivalries in the game.
Detroit beat Green Bay last season 7-3, but that was before the Packers took the step to becoming an elite team. Now that they have it will be interesting to see how long it takes the Lions to take down the defending champs.
They'll get one more shot this season in Week 17. That game could decide whether the Packers go 16-0 and the Lions may be playing for their playoff lives.
New York Jets-Buffalo Bills
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The Jets won both regular season meetings this season and the Bills have fallen to 5-8 on the year. Still, this matchup has potential to develop into a full blown rivalry if Buffalo can continue to improve as opposed to falling back to being one of the worst teams in the league.
What makes pitting these two teams against one another is the bad blood that was festered from the last game that was played between the two. Stevie Johnson mocked Plaxico Burress after scoring a touchdown, which was done in poor taste and the Jets didn't take too kindly to what was done.
Next year's games will be highly anticipated if the Bills can finish the season strong and build some momentum during the offseason.
Carolina Panthers-Atlanta Falcons
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Cam Newton grew up close to Atlanta and suffered two tough losses to a team he badly wanted to beat this season. The Panthers are another up and coming team but still have some growing to do before they can beat the big boys.
Against the Falcons this past Sunday, Carolina held a 23-7 lead going into halftime yet was shut out in the second half and lost the game. It was back-to-back games against Carolina that Atlanta trailed into the fourth quarter but came from behind to win.
This is definitely a future rivalry to keep an eye on. It's still in the infant stages, but once Newton and the Panthers take another step these two teams will be battling for the NFC South division crown for years to come.