NFL rivalries make the game fun.
These rivalries can last for decades with generations of fans continuing them.
Competitive teams, outspoken players, and geography tend to contribute to these longstanding rivalries.
Here are the three best rivalries in the NFL today.
3. Packers vs. Bears
The Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears have enjoyed a heated rivalry for years.
Both have played in the same division and faced each other a record 201 times in regular season and post season competition.
A few photos from the Bears vs Packers game on November 17, 1963 at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Final score- Bears 26, Packers 7. The Chicago Bears went on to win the NFL Championship that season. #Chicago #Bears #BearDown pic.twitter.com/vdwC74K9zI
— The Comiskey Kid (@TheComiskeyKid) May 10, 2021
The Packers have the edge with a 101-95-6 record overall.
What makes this rivalry so contentious?
Both are blue collar, Mid Western cities with rich football history; the games are played in cold, tough conditions.
The Packers have won 4 Super Bowls, and the Bears have 1.
In terms of Hall of Fame players, the Bears have more with 34, and the Packers have 31.
Aaron Rodgers has been the star of this rivalry in recent years; however, Bears fans hope to see a potential Justin Fields vs. Aaron Rodgers matchup in 2021.
2. Cowboys vs. Eagles
Whereas the other rivalries make geographic sense, this one does not.
Yet it is a heated one and still among the best of all time.
Currently watching highlights from the Cowboys vs. Eagles game from November 11th 2018. Nothing better than watching the Boyz winning a game they were expected to lose in hostile territory. 👍🏾 pic.twitter.com/K7bG8DKC0i
— Izzymready (@eadyIofficial) February 28, 2021
Even if these teams are having bad seasons (as both did in 2020), they still get psyched up to play each other.
The rivalry precedes Jerry Jones‘ tenure as the Cowboys owner (1989).
Dallas leads the series with a 70-54 record.
These games were played with an intensity like no other.
One of these head-to-head matchups ended Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin‘s career.
He suffered a spinal cord injury in the October 1999 game at Veterans Stadium.
Then, there were wide receiver Terrell Owens and running back DeMarco Murray who made the rivalry interesting because they played for both teams during their careers.
1. Browns vs. Steelers
The AFC North is filled with rivalries because the teams are geographically close to one another.
Some could argue that the Browns vs. Ravens or Steelers vs. Ravens could also be ranked here.
However, the Browns and Steelers rivalry heated up in 2020 when the teams met three times.
The Steelers have owned the Browns in recent years and lead the series 77-61-1, but the Browns did the unthinkable in 2020.
They beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh in Week 17 with a lot of players (and coaches) out due to COVID-19 to clinch a playoff berth.
The Browns returned to Pittsburgh the following week and blew out the Steelers in the wildcard game by a score of 48-37 after jumping out to a 28-0 lead in the first quarter.
There was plenty of pregame banter from Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster that likely fueled the Browns and this rivalry for years to come.
Recently, Smith-Schuster reflected on whether his controversial comments served as bulletin board material for the Browns.
The video evidence. “They’re a good team, but…" #Browns https://t.co/578KevTDyb pic.twitter.com/E1NPe9EKjl
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) January 8, 2021
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“Probably a lot, honestly. I’m not going to lie to you. It got to a point where the Cleveland Browns had a billboard up in Cleveland that said, ‘The Browns is the Browns.’ I think by me saying that, it says that a lot of people care about what I say. . . . At the end of the day, I said what I said. I don’t take anything back. They did come out there, they did whoop our ass. It is what it is. We lost that game. We lost early in that game in the first five, 10 minutes.”